The Indian equity benchmarks edged higher on Thursday ahead of weekly expiry of index futures and option contracts paced by gains in power and utilities companies. The Sensex rose as much as 205 points and Nifty 50 index touched an intraday high of 15,693.35.

As of 9:23 am, the Sensex was up 114 points at 52,055 and Nifty 50 index advanced 54 points to 15,690.

Asian shares edged higher but held their recent trading range on Thursday as investors focussed on U.S. inflation data and the risk of an upside surprise that could prompt the Federal Reserve to start tapering its massive stimulus.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan were marginally higher at 700.6 points, but stayed in the 698-712 points range it has traded in since late May.

Back home, foreign institutional investors sold shares worth Rs 846 crore on Wednesday and domestic institutional investors sold shares worth Rs 272 crore.

Buying was visible across the board as all the 19 sector gauges compiled by the BSE were trading higher led by the S&P BSE Utilities index’s 1.4 per cent gain. Power, Realty, Metal, Healthcare and Basic Materials indices also rose over 1 per cent each.

Broader markets were outperforming their larger peers as S&P BSE MidCap index rose 0.93 per cent and S&P BSE SmallCap index climbed 1.2 per cent.

JSW Steel was top Nifty gainer, the stock rose 2.5 per cent to Rs 715. Power Grid, Tata Consumer Products, Tata Steel, Divi’s Labs, Shree Cement, Hindalco, Wipro, Cipla, Tech Mahindra, Coal India, IndusInd Bank and Grasim Industries also rose between 1-2 per cent.

On the flipside, Bajaj Auto, Hero MotoCorp, Eicher Motors, Maruti Suzuki and SBI Life were among the notable losers.

The overall market breadth was extremely positive as 2,010 shares were advancing while a mere 475 shares were trading lower.


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