The BSE Sensex started higher on Friday tracking positive Asian markets and on hopes that the government will be able to muster support for Foreign Direct Investment or FDI in multi-brand retail in Rajya Sabha today. The government won the vote in Lok Sabha on Wednesday, but is in minority in the Rajya Sabha.
Analyst expect the government to go ahead with more crucial reforms, such as pension and insurance, once FDI in retail is cleared by Parliament.
"Markets are taking a small pause ahead of the Rajya Sabha vote... Levels of 6,000-6,050 look possible on the Nifty after that. The next move will be aided by domestic investors who have missed out on the rally," Ambareesh Baliga, market analyst said.
At 09.31 a.m., the Sensex traded 36 points or 0.2 per cent higher at 19,523 while the broader Nifty gained 7 points to 5,938. The rupee traded lower against the dollar at 54.19. The rupee closely tracks the euro, which hovered near a one-week low against the dollar, having fallen after the European Central Bank painted a bleak outlook for the euro zone.
28 of the 50 stocks traded higher on the Nifty. Auto stocks led the gains, rising over 1 per cent. Tata Motors, M&M and Maruti Suzuki, which announced a price hike yesterday, all traded with strong gains.
HCL Tech - India's fourth largest IT exporter was the top Nifty loser, down 0.6 per cent. IT stocks have been under selling pressure for the last three sessions. TCS shares also traded lower.
On the broader BSE 500, GMR Infra shares were down over 2 per cent. The stock has come under selling pressure after a Singapore Supreme Court order that gave the control of Male international airport that GMR was developing, to the Maldives government.
Asian shares touched fresh 16-month highs on Friday following modest overnight gains in global equities as investors watched progress in U.S. budget talks with expectations for an eventual deal and awaited U.S. nonfarm payrolls data later in the day.
(With inputs from Reuters)