The Indian equity benchmarks edged higher on Thursday ahead of weekly expiry of index futures and option contracts. The Sensex rose as much as 105 points to 57,287.79 and Nifty 50 index touched an intraday high of 17,112.05. Tata Consultancy Services, HDFC, Hindustan Unilever, Titan, Larsen & Toubro, Reliance Industries and UltraTech Cement were top movers in the Sensex. However, the upside was capped owing to weakness in Asian Paints, Axis Bank, Infosys, CL Technologies and ICICI Bank.
As of 9:24 am, the Sensex was up 95 points at 57,433 and Nifty 50 index advanced 38 points to 17,114.
Meanwhile, Asian share markets were in a cautious mood on Thursday as concerns grew over the Chinese economy after a run of soft data, while the risk of a sub-par U.S. payrolls report kept the dollar on the defensive.
Overnight, world stock markets closed at new highs on Wednesday as investors looked beyond weak economic data that weighed on the dollar to focus on the likely continuation of massive central bank stimulus measures.
Back home, eleven of 15 sector gauges compiled by the National Stock Exchange were trading higher led by the Nifty Pharma index's nearly 1 per cent gain. Nifty Healthcare, FMCG, Financial Services, IT and PSU Bank indices were also trading higher in the range of 0.13-0.5 per cent.
On the other hand, media, realty, oil & gas auto indices were trading lower.
Mid- and small-cap shares were witnessing buying interest as Nifty Midcap 100 index rose 0.23 per cent and Nifty Smallcap 100 index advanced 0.57 per cent.
HDFC Life was top Nifty gainer, the stock rose nearly 3 per cent to Rs 718.55. Dr Reddy's Labs, Cipla, UltraTech Cement, Titan, Adani Ports, JSW Steel, Shree Cements, Hindustan Unilever and Tata Steel were also among the gainers.
On the flipside, Hero MotoCorp, Tech Mahindra, Tata Motors, Axis Bank, Asian Paints, Bajaj Ato, Maruti Suzuki, Indian Oil, Bajaj Finance, Bajaj Finserv and HCL Technologies were among the losers.
The overall market breadth was positive as 1,779 shares were trading higher while 740 declining on the BSE.