The benchmark indices have extended their gains on Thursday afternoon, ahead of weekly index futures and option contracts expiry, on the back of broad-based buying led by financial and pharma stocks. As of 1:15 pm, the Sensex is trading at 52,189.50, higher by 252.81 points or 0.49 per cent and the NSE Nifty has advanced 77 points or 0.49 per cent to 15,710.
Meanwhile, in the currency markets, the rupee has risen 3 paise to 72.94 against the US dollar. At the interbank foreign exchange, the rupee opened at 72.96 against the dollar and then inched higher to 72.94, registering a gain of 3 paise over its previous close.
Financial and pharma stocks are witnessing buying interest post the profit-booking in the recent past. In the financial space, Bajaj Finance, Baja Finserv, SBI and IndusInd Bank have gained 2-4 per cent each on the BSE. In the pharma space, Dr Reddy's and Sun Pharma have gained around a per cent each on the BSE. And index heavyweight Reliance Industries has added 1.4 per cent at Rs 2,205.20.
Among stocks in the news, GAIL India jumped more than 2 per cent in early trades a day after the state-run company posted a 28.3 per cent rise in net profit at Rs 1,908 crore in the March quarter against Rs 1,487.3 crore in the previous quarter; the stock is trading absolutely flat at Rs 162.40 on the BSE.
Affle India is trading higher by 1.18 per cent at Rs 5,268.50 on the BSE on the news that it will acquire the Latin America-based mobile marketing company Jampp for an undisclosed amount.
On the flipside, Bajaj Auto, Maruti Suzuki and HCL Tech are among the notable losers on the BSE, shedding upto a per cent each.