Key equity indices were trading in narrow range with small gains in early afternoon trade. At 12:22 IST, the barometer index, the S&P BSE Sensex, was up 52.14 points or 0.13% at 38,736.86. The Nifty 50 index was up 26.10 points or 0.23% at 11,624.10.
Indices opened higher and hit fresh intraday high in early trade. Shares pared gains in morning trade. Barometers turned range bound in early afternoon trade.
Broader market outperform the Sensex. Among secondary barometers, the BSE Mid-Cap index was up 0.43%. The BSE Small-Cap index was up 0.53%.
The market breadth, indicating the overall health of the market, was positive. On BSE, 1344 shares rose and 932 shares fell. A total of 140 shares were unchanged.
Housing Development Finance Corporation (HDFC) was up 0.54% to Rs 2,052.30. The stock hit a record high of Rs 2,062 in intraday today, 5 April 2019.
Cement shares were in demand. ACC (up 1.64%), UltraTech Cement (up 1.53%) and Ambuja Cements (up 0.65%), edged higher.
Grasim Industries was up 0.59%. Grasim has exposure to cement sector through its holding in UltraTech Cement.
Most IT shares advanced. Wipro (up 1.68%), MindTree (up 1.64%), Infosys (up 1.52%), Persistent Systems (up 1.37%), MphasiS (up 0.71%), TCS (up 0.70%) and Tech Mahindra (up 0.62%), edged higher. HCL Technologies (down 0.34%), Hexaware Technologies (down 0.51%) and Oracle Financial Services Software (down 0.54%), edged lower.
On the economic front, Fitch Ratings reportedly kept India's sovereign rating unchanged at the lowest investment grade of 'BBB-' with a stable outlook. India's ratings balance a strong medium-term growth outlook and relative external resilience stemming from strong foreign reserve buffers, against high public debt, a weak financial sector and some lagging structural factors, reports added citing Fitch report.
Overseas, most Asian shares rose on Friday as investors watched for more details about a potential trade deal between China and the US. The stock markets in China and Hong Kong are closed on Friday for a holiday.
Chinese Vice Premier Liu He said a new consensus has been reached between China and the US on the text of a trade agreement that they are negotiating, according to official state news website Xinhua.
US stocks closed mostly higher Thursday, as investors continued to monitor trade talks between the US and China.
On the data front, new applications for unemployment benefits fell to 202,000 in the week ended March 30, the lowest level since 1969, the government said.
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