Key benchmark indices pared intraday gains in afternoon trade as lower opening in European stocks pulled local indices off their highs. At 13:20 IST, the barometer index, the S&P BSE Sensex, was up 117.78 points or 0.4% at 29,531.44. The Nifty 50 index was up 34.45 points or 0.38% at 9,173.75. Power stocks gained while realty stocks were mixed.
The Sensex gained 287.53 points or 0.97% at the day's high of 29,701.19 in mid-morning trade, its highest level since 12 April 2017. The index rose 74.12 points or 0.25% at the day's low of 29,487.78 in early trade. The Nifty gained 78.60 points or 0.86% at the day's high of 9,217.90 in mid-morning trade, its highest level since 12 April 2017. The index rose 20.40 points or 0.22% at the day's low of 9,159.70 in early trade.
After seeing a gap-up opening, the key benchmark indices extended gains and hit fresh intraday high in morning trade. Indices hovered in a tight range in positive terrain till early afternoon trade. Firmness in most Asian stocks had aided initial gains.
The breadth, indicating overall health of the market was strong. On the BSE, 1,702 shares rose and 948 shares fell. A total of 158 shares were unchanged.
Shares of power generation and power distribution companies gained in a firm market. NTPC (up 2.36%), Torrent Power (up 4.5%), NHPC (up 0.64%), Tata Power Company (up 0.06%), Adani Power (up 4.72%), Power Grid Corporation of India (up 0.62%), Reliance Infrastructure (up 4.37%) and Reliance Power (up 2.09%) gained.
Shares of state run coal mining major Coal India declined 1.84% to Rs 280.55. The stock had hit high of Rs 284.45 and low of Rs 280.35 in intraday trade.
Realty stocks were mixed after yesterday's sharp jump. DLF (up 0.17%), Sobha (up 0.8%), NBCC (up 1.99%), Housing Development & Infrastructure (HDIL) (up 0.32%), and Oberoi Realty (up 2.23%) edged higher. D B Realty (down 0.78%), Indiabulls Real Estate (down 1.72%), Unitech (down 1%), and Godrej Properties (down 0.39%) declined.
On the macro front, India Meteorological Department (IMD) will announce its first long range forecast for 2017 southwest monsoon, today, 18 April 2017. The June-September southwest monsoon is critical for the country's agriculture because a considerable part of the country's farmland is dependent on the rains for irrigation.
Overseas, most European stocks edged lower in early trade. Most Asian stocks edged higher as a strong post-Easter finish on Wall Street provided upward momentum. US stocks rose the most in six weeks yesterday, 17 April 2017 as investors turned their attention to first-quarter corporate earnings.
Geopolitical tensions, notably those between the US and North Korea, have heightened worries about aggressions escalating into a nuclear confrontation. Over the weekend, North Korea put on a massive military parade, followed by a failed missile launch. In an unannounced visit to the Korean Peninsula's demilitarized zone, US Vice President Mike Pence yesterday, 17 April 2017 warned North Korea not to test the resolve of President Donald Trump or the military strength of the US.
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