Key benchmark indices hovered in a small range with positive bias in mid-afternoon trade. At 14:30 IST, the barometer index, the S&P BSE Sensex, was up 94.66 points or 0.32% at 29,262.34. The Nifty 50 index was up 38.50 points or 0.43% at 9,068.95. Firmness in Tata Motors, Infosys and Reliance Industries boosted gains in domestic bourses.
Key indices extended intraday gains in morning trade after opening slightly higher on firm Asian stocks. Indices trimmed gains in mid-morning trade. Markets continued to trade with steady gains thereafter.
The BSE Mid-Cap index was up 0.81%. The BSE Small-Cap index was up 0.94%. Both these indices outperformed the Sensex.
The breadth, indicating overall health of the market was strong. On BSE, 1,679 shares rose and 1,020 shares fell. A total of 202 shares were unchanged.
Pharma stocks reversed recent decline on bargain hutning. Cadila Healthcare (up 1.31%), Dr Reddy's Laboratories (up 0.45%), Glenmark Pharmaceuticals (up 1.05%), Lupin (up 1.59%), Sun Pharmaceutical Industries (up 0.21%), Alkem Laboratories (up 1.03%), Aurobindo Pharma (up 1.24%) and Wockhardt (up 0.34%) rose.
Cipla (down 0.13%), GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals (down 0.38%) fell.
Most IT stocks rose. Infosys (up 1.2%), Wipro (up 1.57%), HCL Technologies (up 0.53%), Tech Mahindra (up 0.44%), MindTree (up 0.12%), Hexaware Technologies (up 1.39%) rose. TCS (down 1.17%), Oracle Financial Services Software (down 0.06%), and MphasiS (down 0.12%) fell.
Axiscades Engineering Technologies rose 1.9% after the company said its board approved investment in wholly-owned subsidiaries. The announcement was made after market hours yesterday, 22 March 2017.
The board of Axiscades Engineering Technologies in its meeting held 21 March 2017, has given its approval for making further investment in its wholly owned subsidiaries. As per the approval, the company will increase the equity of AXISCADES GmbH by 1.25 lakh euros in one or more tranches. Further, it will invest Rs 15 crore in AXISCADES Aerospace & Technologies.
Hindustan Composites surged 12.58% after the company said its board will meet on 10 April 2017, to consider bonus issue of shares and a stock spilt. The announcement was made after market hours yesterday 22 March 2017.
Overseas, European stocks were trading lower in cautious trade, as markets were still jittery after the terrorist attack perpetrated in London yesterday, 22 March 2017 and as investors continued to focus on US president Donald Trump's policies.
Asian stocks edged higher with focus now on a crucial congressional vote on US healthcare reform later in the day. US stocks rebounded yesterday, 22 March 2017 after posting the biggest decline since October as technology stocks posted strong gains.
Investors are focusing on progress of US President Donald Trump's pro-growth policies as Republican lawmakers and Trump struggled to garner support for controversial healthcare legislation scheduled for a vote in the House of Representatives today, 23 March 2017. Losing or delaying the vote would bruise investors' confidence in Trump's legislative ability and his ability to keep his big promises to business.
US stocks had rallied after the November 2016 presidential election, on bets that the pro-growth Trump agenda would be quickly pushed by a Republican Party with majorities in both chambers of Congress.
Markets will also be keenly awaiting cues from the US Federal Reserve this week with Chairwoman Janet Yellen due to speak later today. The Fed raised its benchmark lending rate a quarter point last week and continued to project two more increases this year.
On the economic front, sales of previously-owned homes tumbled in February as the housing market remains choked by tight inventory. Existing-home sales were at a 5.48 million seasonally-adjusted annual rate last month, the National Association of Realtors said yesterday, 22 March 2017.