Markets Off Day's High; Sensex Hovers At 50,500, Led By Metal, Oil, PSU Stocks

Asian shares rallied on Monday after the U.S. Senate's passage of a $1.9 trillion stimulus bill and a surprisingly strong payrolls report augured well for a global economic rebound

Gail, ONGC and Coal India are the leading BSE gainers, rising 2.6 per cent to 5.9 per cent each

The domestic stock markets are trading firm, albeit off the intra-day highs registered earlier in the day, amid a volatile session of trade. At 12:25 pm, the BSE Sensex was trading at 50,603.40, higher by 196.85 points or 0.38 per cent and the NSE Nifty was at 15,000.50, up 63.75 points or 0.44 per cent. The broader markets are out-performing the benchmark indices, with the BSE Midcap index and BSE Smallcap index gaining 0.8 per cent and 1.01 per cent respectively.

All the BSE sectoral indices are trading in the green, with the metal, oil and gas, and PSU stocks witnessing buying interest.

Meanwhile, Easy Trip Planners' initial public offer (IPO) has opened for bidding. The IPO will be open for three days, until March 10 and the shares will be sold in the price band of Rs 186-187 per share.

Among individual stocks, GAIL, ONGC and Coal India are the leading BSE gainers, rising 2.6 per cent to 5.9 per cent each. NTPC, Axis Bank, Tata Steel and Reliance Industries are the other significant gainers on the BSE Sensex.

PSU banking stocks are also in the limelight, with Indian Overseas Bank, Bank Of Maharashtra and Bank of India soaring 7-10 per cent each on the BSE on reportedly being short-listed by the government for the purpose of privatization.

On the other hand, Bajaj Auto, Ultra Tech Cement and Titan have shed around 1 per cent each on the BSE.

The BSE market breadth is strong. Out of 3125 stocks traded on the BSE, there are 1,813 advancing stocks as against 1103 declines.