The Indian equity benchmarks extended gains in noon deals led by strong buying interest in banking and financial services heavyweights like ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank, Bajaj Finance and State Bank of India. The Sensex rose as much as 277 points and Nifty 50 moved closer to its important psychological level of 17,600. The benchmarks started on a flat note amid mixed global cues.
As of 12:45 pm, the Sensex was up 224 points at 58,888 and Nifty 50 index advanced 82 points to 17,585.
Ten of 15 sector gauges compiled by the National Stock Exchange were trading higher led by the Nifty PSU Bank index’s 1.7 per cent gain. Private Bank, Media, Bank, Financial Services, Realty and Oil & Gas indices were also trading with over 1 per cent gain.
The Nifty Energy Index rose as much as 1.45%. Oil prices were in focus after India said it will sell 5 million barrels to Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Ltd and Hindustan Petroleum Corp.
On the other hand, healthcare, pharma information technology, auto and FMCG shares facing a mild selling pressure.
Mid- and small-cap shares were outperforming their larger peers as Nifty Midcap 100 index advanced 0.7 per cent while Nifty Smallcap 100 index advanced 1.5 per cent.
Telecom major Bharti Airtel soared 3.02% to hit a record high, while Vodafone Idea climbed 5.19% to a more than one-month high following tariff-hike announcements.
ONGC was top Nifty gainer, the stock climbed 5 per cent to Rs 155.
Adani Ports, ICICI Bank, Coal India, Bharat Petroleum, Indian Oil, Power Grid, Bajaj Finance and Kotak Mahindra Bank also rose between 2-5 per cent.
On the other hand, Maruti Suzuki, Tech Mahindra, Infosys, Cipla, Tata Consumer Products, Divi’s Labs, Grasim Industries, Eicher Motors, Sun Pharma and Mahindra & Mahindra were among the losers.
The overall market breadth was positive as 2,342 shares were advancing while 834 were declining on the BSE.