The Indian equity benchmarks edged higher on Monday led by gains in banking and information technology heavyweights like HDFC Bank, HDFC, Kotak Mahindra Bank, Axis Bank, Infosys and Tata Consultancy Services. The Sensex rose as much as 350 points and Nifty 50 index reclaimed its important psychological level of 18,200 amid positive cues from other Asian markets. Asian shares edged higher on Monday as Chinese economic data surprised on the high side, challenging wagers the economy was stuck in a downturn although a decline in mainland house prices was a worry.
As of 9:22 am, the Sensex was up 299 points at 60,985 and Nifty 50 index advanced 96 points to 18,198.
Chinese blue chips were steady on the data, while MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.4 per cent, after popping higher late last week.
Japan's Nikkei gained 0.5 per cent as data showing economic activity shrank by more than expected in the third quarter only reinforced the case for aggressive fiscal stimulus.
Wall Street eased last week to break a string of gains, though the major indices were only a shade off all-time highs. S&P 500 futures firmed 0.1 per cent in early trade on Monday, while Nasdaq futures added 0.2 per cent.
Back home, thirteen of 19 sector gauges compiled by the BSE were trading higher led by the S&P BSE Bankex index's nearly 1 per cent gain. Consumer Durables, Auto, Information Technology, Finance, Healthcare and Consumer Discretionary Goods & Services indices also rise between 0.3-0.8 per cent.
On the other hand, Metal, Power and Utilities indexes were trading lower.
Mid- and small-cap stocks were trading mixed as S&P BSE MidCap index advanced 0.42 per cent while S&P BSE SmallCap index was trading on a flat note.
ITC was top gainer among the Sensex stocks, the stock rose 1.7 per cent to Rs 237. Kotak Mahindra Bank, Asian Paints, Titan, Mahindra & Mahindra, HDFC Bank, Dr Reddy's Labs, IndusInd Bank and ICICI Bank also rose between 0.8-1.14 per cent.
On the flipside, Tech Mahindra, Reliance Industries, Tata Steel, Bajaj Finserv, Bajaj Finance and Bajaj Auto were among the losers.
The overall market breadth was positive as 1,485 shares were advancing while 1,332 were declining on the BSE.