The domestic markets are trading firm in the afternoon, ignoring the weak cues from the global front, led by gains in index heavyweights such as Tata Steel, Mahindra & Mahindra and Reliance Industries. At 1:25 pm, the BSE Sensex was at 55,617.50, higher by 178.50 points or 0.32 per cent and the NSE Nifty was at 16,564.80, up 34.20 points or 0.21 per cent.
Asian markets are trading in the red across the board, with the exception of the Chinese bourses, and the European markets have also opened in the red, possibly due to geopolitical concerns surrounding the unfolding situation in Afghanistan.
The annual wholesale price inflation eased to 11.16 per cent in July from the previous month's 12.07 per cent, helped by lower increase in the cost of fuel and food items, government data showed on Monday. Food prices rose 4.46 per cent in July compared to 6.66 per cent in the previous month and prices of fuel items were up 26.02 per cent year-on-year compared to 32.83 per cent in June.
On the stock-specific front, Tata Steel has soared nearly 3 per cent to top the gainers list on the BSE. M&M, Bajaj Finance and Reliance Industries have gained more than 2 per cent each.
Among stocks in the news, Apollo Hospitals Enterprise shares rose as much as 6.74 per cent to hit a record high of Rs 4,333.90 on the BSE after the company reported consolidated net profit of Rs 501 crore in the June quarter against a loss of Rs 225 crore during the same period last year.
On the other hand, Shree Cements, Bajaj Auto and Divi's Lab have shed around 2 per cent each on the BSE.
In the IPO market, Devyani International made a stellar debut on the bourses, listing at a premium of 56 per cent on the BSE, whereas Krsnaa Diagnostics and Exxaro Tiles made a tepid debut of around 5 per cent. On the other hand, Windlas Biotech listed at a discount of 5 per cenrt.
The BSE market breadth is weak. Out of 3,329 shares traded on the BSE, there are 1122 advancing shares as against 2079 declines.