Domestic share markets started Wednesday's session on a positive note, extending recent gains to a fourth straight session, amid gains in global equities on renewed hopes for a new round of stimulus in the US. The S&P BSE Sensex index rose 400.25 points - or 0.99 per cent - to touch 40,944.62 at the strongest level in early deals, and the broader NSE Nifty 50 benchmark climbed to as high as 12,008.45, up 111.65 points - or 0.94 per cent - from its previous close. Gains across sectors - led by banking and automobile shares - backed the upmove.
At 9:35 am, the Sensex traded 378.10 points - or 0.93 per cent - higher at 40,922.47 and the Nifty was up 106.40 points - or 0.89 per cent - at 12,003.20.
Bharat Petroleum, IndusInd Bank, Tata Steel, HDFC, Hindalco and Tata Motors, trading between 2.08 per cent and 3.48 per cent higher, were the top gainers in the Nifty basket of 50 shares.
On the other hand, FMCG majors Nestle, Britannia and HUL - down 0.38-1.23 per cent each - were the worst hit among just seven laggards in the index.
Reliance Industries, HDFC and HDFC Bank were the top boosts to Sensex.
Equities in other Asian markets moved higher, with MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan last seen trading 0.56 per cent higher.
Australian stocks edged up 0.1 per cent, Chinese shares 0.07 per cent, and Tokyo 0.4 per cent.
The E-Mini S&P 500 futures gained 0.44 per cent, indicating a positive start for US markets on Wednesday.
A slowdown in daily coronavirus cases fuelling hopes that the government will further ease restrictions is driving market optimism, say analysts.
On Tuesday, the Sensex had ended 112.77 points - or 0.28 per cent - higher at 40,544.37, and the Nifty settled at 11,896.80, up 23.75 points - or 0.20 per cent - from its previous close.