A higher OCtober IIP has helped the markets to stay in the green. The Sensex is up 35 points at 19,422. Nifty is up 9 points at 5,908.
In Asia, Nikkei added half a per cent to 9581. Hang Seng and Straits advanced nearly 1% each amid sustained optimism for an agreement on upcoming U.S. tax hikes and spending cuts, and ahead of the conclusion of a Federal Open Market Committee meeting that may see the Fed undertake more asset buying.
Industrial production growth rate bounced back to a 16-month high of 8.2% in October on good performance of the manufacturing, power sector and higher output of capital as well as consumer goods, indicating sudden recovery in the economy. Meanwhile, retail inflation surged 9.90% in November driven mainly by rising prices of food items such as sugar, vegetables, edible oil and clothing.
"Given the sluggish economy, that could be a mood dampener and lead to selling pressure. Market shall be waiting for concrete execution of the reforms recently taken, which will also take its time to reflect in economic growth. Then elections are also heading which can lead to volatility in the market," said Nidhi Sarswat, Senior research analyst, Bonanza Portfolio.
The Indian rupee surrendered its earlier gains and ruled steady at 54.26 against the American currency in the late morning trade on mild dollar demand from banks despite weakness of dollar in overseas market.
BSE IT index is leading the gains - up 1% at 5,612, followed by auto and realty indices. On the other hand, BSE capitl goods index has slipped half a per cent to 11,109.
Hindustan Unilever has slipped 1.5% to Rs 536 following concerns over increase in royalty payouts. Investors were jittery following announcement by parent Unilever that it was increasing royalty to 5% of sales from the current 3.5% in Indonesia.
HDFC is the top loser - down 2% at Rs 858, followed by Jindal Steel, GAIL and Tata Power. Meanwhile, auto shares are leading the gains. Mahindra & MAhindra is up 2.7% at Rs 953. Hero MotoCorp and Bajaj Auto are up 1.5% each. Among other key gainers are Reliance, Infosys, TCS and HDFC Bank.
BSE market breadth is neutral. Out of 2768 stocks traded, 1332 shares have advanced while 1326 shares have declined.