The markets have been in a tight range in the past one hour. The Sensex is now at 16,294, up 59 points and the Nifty is at 4,873, up 17 points. Metal and realty counters are strong in this afternoon's trades, while auto and energy stocks are trading weak.
On the global front, the European markets have opened firm. CAC, DAX and FTSE are up nearly 1% each.
Among the Sensex stocks, Sun Pharma has advanced 2.5% to Rs 1,575, Sterlite has added 1.7% at Rs 759 and ICICI Bank has firmed up by 1.5% at Rs 844. HDFC and Jaiprakash Associates are the other prominent gainers.
Maruti has slipped 1.8% to Rs 1356, while M&M and Tata Motors are down 1% each at Rs 981 and Rs 697 respectively.
The market breadth is negative. Out of 2,819 shares traded on the BSE, there are 1,847 declining stocks as against 882 advances.