Domestic stock markets are likely to start Wednesday's session on a positive note shrugging off weakness in Asian peers, where equities gave up early gains amid concerns about the economic impact of the coronavirus outbreak. The S&P BSE Sensex index rose 232.74 points to climb to as high as 41,199.60 at the strongest level in early deals, and the broader NSE Nifty benchmark moved to as high as 12,134.85, up 79.05 points from its previous close. Gains across sectors - led by banking, auto, metal and energy shares - supported the markets.
At 9:17 am, the Sensex traded 213.89 points - or 0.52 per cent - higher at 41,180.75 while the Nifty was up 66.05 points - or 0.55 per cent - at 12,121.85.
Forty seven stocks on the 50-scrip benchmark index moved higher at the time. Top percentage gainers were GAIL, Tata Steel, Tata Motors, JSW Steel, Bharti Airtel and Vedanta, up between 1.37 per cent and 1.90 per cent.
TCS, Dr Reddy's and Eicher Motors - trading between 0.10 per cent and 0.54 per cent lower - were the only Nifty losers.
Reliance Industries, ICICI Bank and Infosys were the top contributors to the gain in Sensex, together accounting for a rise of more than 100 points in early deals.
Analysts say the markets are likely to remain volatile until the government presents the Union Budget on February 1, when it may also unveil more measures to lift growth.
Corporate earnings will also be monitored closely for cues. Bajaj Finance, Bajaj Auto, Bharti Infratel, Tata Motors, ITC, SBI and Vedanta will report their financial results for the quarter ended December 31 this week.
Shares in other Asian markets swung into negative territory as a spike in new Chinese virus cases sent Hong Kong stocks tumbling and fuelled fears about the economic impact of the outbreak.
MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan skidded 0.52 per cent. Hong Kong shares fell 2.8 per cent on their first session after a two-and-a-half trading day break for Lunar New Year, led by declines in financial services, real estate, and consumer goods companies.
On Tuesday, the Sensex had declined 188.26 points - or 0.46 per cent - to end at 40,966.86 and the Nifty settled at 12,055.80, down 63.20 points - or 0.52 per cent - from its previous close, as the markets extended losses to a second straight day.