Thanks to sustained buying in several blue chip stocks from across various sectors, the market, which moved higher after a shaky start, continues to trade firm in positive territory past mid afternoon.
The Sensex is now up 114 points or 0.62% at 18,443.32. The Nifty index of the National Stock Exchange is up 32.55 points or 0.58% at 5604.10.
Realty stocks have come back strongly after a weak start today. Mirroring fairly sustained buying in that space, the BSE Realty index has now moved up by 2.3%.
Consumer durables, FMCG and bank stocks are among the other prominent gainers. Select stocks from information technology, metal and healthcare sectors too have moved up smartly. Oil stocks are off their lows now. Automobile, capital goods and power stocks remain subdued.
Jindal Steel & Power has gained nearly 2.5%. Sun Pharmaceutical Industries is up with a gain of 2.2%. Tata Power, Cipla and ICICI Bank are up 1.7% - 2%. Hindalco, ITC, Tata Steel, Infosys, Wipro, Mahindra & Mahindra and Hindustan Unilever are trading higher by 1% - 1.4%.
NTPC is down 2% at Rs 165 on news that the Union Cabinet is likely to approve the disinvestment of around 10% stake in the state-run power major tomorrow. According to reports, the Cabinet is likely to consider a proposal to disinvest 9.50% stake in state-run power company on Thursday. The government will clear sale of about 783.3 million shares, resulting in 9.5% dilution in government stake in NTPC.
Pantaloon Retail, up 5.6%, is the top gainer among BSE 'A' Group stocks. Union Bank of India has gained 4.8%. Reliance Communications, Aurobindo Pharma, Power Finance Corporation, Zee Entertainment, Canara Bank, Titan Industries, L&T Finance Holdings, Jaiprakash Associates, Mahindra Satyam and Sun TV Network are up 2% - 4%.
Among realty stocks, DB Realty is up as much as 7.3% and Anant Raj Industries is up by about 6.8%. DB Realty has spurted on strong buying at the counter on reports Bharti Group's realty arm is in talks with DB Realty 's hospitality arm to buy 49% stake in a special purpose vehicle for upto Rs 350 crore.
HDIL, Unitech, Indiabulls Real Estate, Godrej Properties, Prestige Estates, Oberoi Realty and DLF are trading higher by 1.3% - 4%. Sobha Developers is up by around 0.7%.