MUMBAI: Markets have come off day highs as weakness in names like ITC, TCS and HDFC Bank weighed on the indices.
At 1050 hrs, the Sensex was up 68 points at 22,123 and the Nifty was up 20 points at 6,610.
There was no respite for the defensives as selling in IT, FMCG and Health Care names continued.
Meanwhile, Metal, Realty, Power and Auto indices were up 1-2%.
In individual names, Oberoi Realty rallied 5% to Rs 208 in early morning deals on the BSE after the real estate developer has acquired Tata Steel’s Mumbai land for Rs 1,155 crore.
Markets surged in opening trades with the benchmark indices starting at record highs. Nifty crossed the 6,600 levels with ease on account of positive global cues. Apart from defensive pockets like IT and FMCG, buying was visible across the sectors.
At 0918 hrs, the Sensex was up 101 points at 22,157 and the Nifty advanced 30 points to trade at 6,619.
In the broader markets, the mid and smallcap indices advanced 0.5-0.6%, almost in line with the benchmark index.
The rupee strengthened to its highest level in eight months on Wednesday morning, helped by hopes of continued foreign fund inflows while gains in other Asian currencies also underpinned sentiment.
The partially convertible rupee was trading at 60.18/19 per dollar compared with its close of 60.48/49 on Tuesday.
Sectors & Stocks
All the sectoral indices were in green with Realty and Metal indices leading gains, up 1.5% each.
Auto, Power, Capital Goods and Bankex indices up 0.7-1% were the other major sectoral gainers.
Defensives like IT, FMCG and Health Care indices were flat with a positive bias.
From pharma space, Dr Reddys Lab and Sun Pharma was down 0.5% and 0.1%.
TCS and Infosys slipped 0.1-0.4% along with Hero MotoCorp, ITC losing 0.3% each, rounding off the losers list in opening trades.
Tata Motors, Gail India, Hindalco, Tata Steel, Maruti Suzuki, BHEL, Coal India, Sesa Sterlite, Wipro and L&T up 1-2% were the top gainers among Sensex-30.
The market breadth was very positive on BSE. 876 stocks advanced while 408 stocks declined.
In Asia, shares edged higher in early trade on fresh signs of strength in the U.S. economy and diminishing concerns over the diplomatic standoff between the West and Russia.
MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was up 0.2%, with Australia stocks 0.6% higher.
Overnight, U.S. stocks ended higher, rebounding from a two-day decline as the hard-hit biotechnology sector regained its momentum and a strong read on consumer confidence increased optimism about the economy.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 0.56%, to close at 16,368. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index gained 0.44%, to finish at 1,866. The Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 0.19%, to end at 4,234.
Data showed consumer confidence rose more than expected in March, climbing to its highest level since January 2008. The report was the latest in a string of positive reads on the U.S. economy that supported theories that softness early this year was related to bad weather and not weakening fundamentals.