The markets opened on a positive note, continuing the upbeat sentiment over the past two days. In early trade, the NSE Nifty was at 5,996.45, up 0.05 per cent, while the BSE Sensex gained 0.08 per cent to 19,729.25.
Gold loan company Manappuram Finance was at Rs 38.10, up 12.72 per cent, while Muthoot Finance rose 8 per cent to Rs 225.40.
The Reserve Bank of India yesterday issued draft guidelines suggesting that volume and value restrictions be placed on gold imports to help rein in a current account gap which touched an all-time high in the July-September quarter.
Shares in Jet Airways rose as much as 6 per cent, a day after a senior government source told reporters the carrier was the front-runner to win an investment from Etihad Airways.
The Gulf carrier could pay up to $330 million for a 24 per cent stake in Jet, and a deal is likely in the next 10 days, the official said.
However, shares of Kingfisher Airlines, which had been vying with Jet to win the Etihad investment, fell 2.6 per cent.
Most Asian stock markets edged higher on Thursday on hopes of a steady economic revival in China although oil gave back some of the previous session's strong gains as investors took some money off the table and braced for more US budget battles.
The MSCI Asia Pacific ex-Japan index of stocks was up 0.3 per cent following Wednesday's 2 per cent jump on relief that US politicians had averted the "fiscal cliff". Japan's Nikkei 225 rose 0.7 per cent.
Overnight, US stocks kicked off the new year with their best day in over a year on Wednesday, sparked by relief over a last-minute deal in Washington to avert the "fiscal cliff" of tax hikes and spending cuts that threatened to derail the economy's growth.
In 2013's first trading session, the S&P 500 achieved its biggest one-day gain since December 20, 2011, pushing the benchmark index to its highest close since September 14. The Dow Jones industrial average jumped 308.41 points to 13,412.55 at the close. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index gained 36.23 points to finish at 1,462.42. The Nasdaq Composite Index climbed 92.75 points to end at 3,112.26.
The Nifty rose to a two-year high on Wednesday, breaching the key psychological level of 6,000 at one point, after the US fiscal cliff deal sparked broad buying, while financial firms extended a recent rally on hopes of a rate cut this month.
However, despite expectations sturdier global economic growth and the Reserve Bank of India's easing actions would support portfolio inflows, some fund managers warned Indian shares are looking overbought in the near-term after rallying in 2012.
"Ahead of earnings season, there would be profit booking in January as corporates may stick to giving cautious outlook," said Deven Choksey, MD, K R Choksey Securities.
Reversal of interest rate cycle, which can spur growth and thereby markets, however, remain key for the medium term, added Mr Choksey.
The benchmark BSE index rose 0.68 per cent, or 133.43 points, to end at 19714.24, its highest close since January 6, 2011.
The broader NSE index rose 0.71 per cent, or 42.40 points, to end at 5993.25.
The index earlier rose to as high as high as 6,006.05 points, marking its highest intraday level since January 7, 2011.
Shares have rallied since last year, with the BSE index up 1.5 per cent in the two trading sessions so far this year after surging 25.7 per cent in 2012.
Also aiding the sentiment, India's manufacturing activity surged to a six-month high in December, boosted by strong factory output and a spike in new orders, both of which hit their highest levels since June, a business survey showed on Wednesday.
With inputs from Reuters