Indian stocks have seen large cuts over the last month and the weakness was clearly evident in early trade. The Sensex gave up some gains immediately and traded 58 points or 0.31 per cent higher at 18,894. The Nifty advanced 14 points to 5,697. Currency markets are closed today.
Energy stocks gained on the back of buying interest in Reliance Industries. Realty stocks bounced back with DLF leading the advances. Capital goods stocks also rose over 1 per cent with state-run BHEL and the country's largest engineering and construction major L&T witnessing buying interest.
30 stocks traded higher on the Nifty led by Cairn India, up 2.8 per cent.
Iron-ore miner Sesa Goa was the top Nifty loser, down 2.2 per cent. Another Vedanta group firm Sterlite Industries (India) traded 5 per cent lower after a copper smelter run by the company in Tamil Nadu was closed after a preliminary inspection by state pollution regulator.
Tata Motors shares fell 2 per cent ahead of auto sales number. Most other auto stocks including Maruti and Bajaj Auto traded lower.
Japan's benchmark Nikkei fell 0.9 per cent after a central bank survey showed a smaller-than-expected improvement in business sentiment. The Tankan index for the March quarter rose to minus 8 from minus 12 in December, a smaller improvement than analysts had anticipated. A reading below zero means pessimists outnumber optimists.
Stock markets in Europe were closed Friday for the holiday and remain so on Monday.