The benchmark indices have opened on a firm note, with the Nifty hitting all-time highs and BSE Sensex rallying more than 300 points as Covid data showed a dip in fresh cases to 1.75 lakh during the last 24 hours. At 9:18 am, the BSE Sensex was at 51,351.55, higher by 250.55 points or 0.48 per cent and the NSE Nifty was at 15,424.95, up 87.70 points or 0.56 per cent., tracking strength in metal stocks and heavyweights such as Reliance Industries.
The broader markets were also trading firm, with the BSE Midcap index and BSE Smallcap index adding 0.3 per cent and 0.4 per cent each.
Asian markets rose on Friday, with the broader Hang Seng index in Hong Kong gaining 0.59 per cent. In Japan, the Nikkei 225 jumped 1.94 per cent while the Topix index advanced 1.78 per cent. South Korea’s Kospi edged 0.56 per cent higher.
U.S. stocks advanced slightly on Thursday as data showing improvement in the labor market helped bolster expectations in the economic recovery and spurred a minor rotation towards stocks seen as more likely to benefit from the rebound.
The Dow Jones rose 0.41 per cent, the S&P 500 gained 0.12 per cent and Nasdaq Composite dropped 0.01 per cent.
On the earnings front, Mahindra & Mahindra, Glenmark Pharmaceuticals, Indian Bank and Ipca Laboratories will declare their Q4 numbers during the day.
On the stock-specific front, metal stocks led the Nifty higher, with Tata Steel, JSW Steel and Hindalco locking in gains of 2-3 per cent to emerge as the top gainers on the Nifty. Among the other significant gainers, HDFC, Tata Motors and Reliance Industries rallied around a per cent each.
On the other hand, pharma stocks were seeing some selling pressure, with Cipla, Sun Pharma and Dr Reddy’s shedding 1-3 per cent each on the NSE.