Capital goods, automobile, consumer durables, oil and power stocks are trading firm on the Indian bourses where the mood remains cautious amid a weak trend in Asian markets due to renewed concerns about the outlook for the U.S. Federal Reserve's monetary stimulus.
Metal stocks are a bit subdued. Bank stocks, which opened notably lower, have recovered well thanks to renewed buying interest. Pharmaceuticas, FMCG and information technology stocks are trading mixed.
At 19,968.99, the Sensex is now up 68.04 points or 0.34% at 19,968.98. The Nifty index of the National Stock Exchange is at 5,911.85, up 22.10 points or 0.38% from its previous close.
Maruti Suzuki is trading stronger by 2.3% at Rs 1434. Tata Motors is up nearly 2% at Rs 341. NTPC, BHEL, Tata Power, Larsen & Toubro, ONGC, Cipla and Hindustan Unilever are up 1% - 1.4%.
Reliance Industries, GAIL India, Bajaj Auto, HDFC, ICICI Bank, Mahindra & Mahindra, Tata Steel, Dr Reddy's Laboratories and Tata Consultancy Services are also trading firm.
Asian Paints, up 3%, is the top gainer in the Nifty index. Ultra Tech Cement, IndusInd Bank, Ambuja Cements, Axis Bank and Grasim Industries are up 0.8% - 2%.
Lupin rose nearly 2% in early trades following an announcement from the company that it has signed an agreement with US-based Onset Dermatologics under which it will market the latter's skin disease treatment medicine Locoid Lotion in the American market.
Locoid, the most highly prescribed mid-potency steroid brand in the US, is indicated for the topical treatment of mild to moderate Atopic Dermatitis in patients 3 months of age and older, Lupin said in a regulatory filing.
State Bank of India is down nearly 2%. Sun Pharmaceutical Industries and Jindal Steel & Power are down 1.5% and 1.3%, respectively. HDFC Bank, Sesa Goa, HIndalco, Coal India and Bharti Airtel are down with modest losses. Punjab National Bank, BPCL and Bank of Baroda are also trading weak.