The markets trimmed gains but continued to witness positive trades in afternoon deals, buoyed by index heavy-weight RIL, Consumer Durables, Capital Goods and Metal shares. The BSE Sensex is at 17,604, up 126 points and the Nifty at 5,358, up 40 points.
Earlier in the day, the BSE benchmark index touched the day's high at 17,664 and the day's low at 17,570.
In Asia, Japan's Nikkei share average fell but remained above 10,000, with the yen's climb to a three-week high against the dollar prompting investors to lock in profits on blue-chip exporters that have logged sharp gains since January. The index ended at 10,050, down 0.59%. The Hang Seng advanced 1.31%, while the Shanghai Composite index gained 0.47%.
European markets are higher today with shares in London leading the region. The FTSE 100 is up 0.23% while France's CAC 40 is up 0.18% and Germany's DAX is up 0.17%.
Back home, index heavyweight RIL has gained nearly 2% at Rs 756. RIL's Jamnagar manufacturing unit is planning to take Maintenance and Inspection (M&I) shutdown of one of the diesel hydro treating unit for approximately three weeks duration from 2 April 2012.
BSE Consumer Durables index is at 6,813, up 2.44%. Whirlpool of India, VIP Industries and Blue Star, up 5-12% each, are the top gainers from the pack.
Banking stocks rose on growing expectations for a rate cut from the RBI during its mid-April meeting. The prominent gainers from the pack are Federal Bank, ICICI Bank, State Bank of India and Axis Bank, up 2-3% each.
The BSE Capital Goods index has advanced 1.92% at 10,398 levels. From the space, Bharat Heavy Electricals (BHEL) has moved higher by 2.27% at Rs 266 on reporting a provisional 14.6% year-on-year (y-o-y) growth in net profit at Rs 3,208 crore for the quarter ended March 31, 2011. State-run heavy electrical equipment maker had recorded a single digit 2.2% growth in net profit for the quarter ended December 2011. Meanwhile, State-owned equipment maker has said it would withdraw the initial papers for its follow-on offer that were filed with Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi).
Hindalco Industries has moved up 3.29% at Rs 131.85 and is the most prominent gainer on the Sensex. Other gainers include Sterlite Industries, ICICI Bank and Larsen & Toubro, up 2-3% each. The losers from the pack are Hero MotoCorp, Maruti Suzuki, Sun Pharma Industries and TCS, down 1-2% each. Bharti Airtel is down marginally at Rs 339.
The overall market breadth is positive as 1,739 stocks have advanced against 955 declining ones, on the BSE.