The markets continued to edge higher in late noon trades, amid firm European cues, with rate-sensitive shares leading the gains. The BSE Sensex was trading at 16,873, up 195 points and the Nifty at 5,116, up 61 points. ICICI Bank has accounted for a 29-point gain on the Sensex.
Earlier in the day, the BSE benchmark index touched the day's high at 16,860 and the day's low at 16,701.
In Asia, Japan's Nikkei share average ended flat at 8,569 on Friday as a risk-off atmosphere pervaded ahead of a pivotal election in Greece at the weekend, but losses were tempered by an overnight report that central banks were prepared to offset potential market turmoil. The Shanghai Composite index has advanced 0.47% while the Hang Seng index is up 1.81%.
European shares continued to trade firm with the CAC-40, DAX and FTSE-100 up 0.5-1% each.
Meanwhile, the rupee today rose by 14 paise to 55.66 against the dollar in early trade at the Interbank Foreign Exchange market as the American currency weakened against the Euro and other currencies overseas. Besides, a higher opening in the local equity market also supported the rupee, dealers said.
On the sectoral front, all the indices are in the positive terrain. BSE Auto, Bankex, Realty, Consumer Durables and Oil & Gas indices are leading the gains, having gained 1-2% each.
Among the Sensex 30 stocks, Tata Motors has advanced 4% at Rs 237 and is the most prominent gainer. The scrip gained after its chairman, Ratan Tata, bought 425,000 shares through open market transaction. “Ratan Naval Tata has purchased 425,000 ordinary shares having face value of Rs 2 each of the company through market purchase on June 14, 2012 on the National Stock Exchange,” Tata Motors said in a filing. He has acquired these shares at an average market price of Rs 233.87 per share, it added.
Other notable gainers from the pack are ICICI Bank, Hero MotoCorp, Coal India, Sun Pharma Industries, up 2-3% each. The losers from the pack are Sterlite Industries, Bajaj Auto, ONGC and NTPC, down 1-2% each. HDFC is down marginally.
Shares of Corporation Bank and VST Industries are trading lower by nearly 4-5% each after turning ex-dividend today. “The register of members & share transfer books of the company/bank will remain closed from June 19, 2012 for the purpose of payment of dividend & Annual General Meeting (AGM),” VST Industries and Corporation Bank said in a separate filing to the stock exchanges.
The overall market breadth is positive as 1,410 stocks have advanced against 1,021 declining ones, on the BSE.