Benchmark BSE Sensex rose by over 170 points in early trade on Wednesday as IT, energy and pharma stocks advanced amid gains in global equities on hopes of fresh US stimulus measures. The 30-share index opened higher at 49,508.79, against the previous close of 49,398.29 and rose further to hit a high of 49,595.64 points in early trade. Of the 30 Sensex stocks, 17 were trading in green led by IT and pharma stocks.
In a similar tandem, the broader NSE Nifty advanced by 52.25 points or 0.36 per cent to 14,573.40 with 26 of its constituents trading in the green territory. Analysts said Indian stocks took cues from global equities which rose to record highs after US Treasury Secretary nominee Janet Yellen called for a hefty fiscal relief package to help the economy hit by the COVID-19 crisis.
Among Sensex stocks, ONGC was up by 1.33 per cent while Reliance rose by 0.42 per cent in early trade. Leading IT stocks also advanced in morning trade on hopes of fresh US stimulus measures. HCL Tech rose by 1.15 per cent, Tech Mahindra by 1.14 per cent, TCS by 0.85 per cent and Infosys by 0.74 per cent.
FMCG stocks were down with HUL dropping by 0.48 per cent and ITC by 0.39 per cent. HDFC Bank, IndusInd Bank, and Bharti Airtel were also down in early trade. FIIs were net purchasers of Indian equities on Tuesday, putting in Rs 257.55 crore on a net basis while domestic investors sold shares worth Rs 199 crore on a net basis.
Asian shares were trading mostly higher on Wednesday, ahead of Joe Biden's inauguration as US president. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 rose by 0.6 per cent while South Korea's Kospi gained 0.5 per cent and Hong Kong's Hang Seng by 0.9 per cent. The Shanghai Composite rose by 0.4 per cent. Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225, however, lost 0.4 per cent due to worries about the surge in coronavirus cases.
On Wall Street, the S&P 500 rose 0.8 per cent, the Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.4 per cent and the Nasdaq composite gained 1.5 per cent.