Sensex gains 100 points, Nifty holds above 10,500; PNB tanks 8%
The domestic market opened higher on Thursday tracking positive trend in Asian markets after Wall Street brushed aside strong US inflation data and surged, a counterintuitive move that also saw the dollar pinned at two-week lows even as Treasury yields jumped in anticipation of a quicker pace of US interest rate hikes.
At 9:18 am, the S&P BSE Sensex was trading at 34,300, up 144 points, while the broader Nifty50 was ruling at 10,547, up 46 points.
In the broader market, the BSE Midcap and the BSE Smallcap indices rose 0.6 per cent and 0.4 per cent, respectively.
Market breadth, indicating the overall health of the market, was positive with 870 stocks rising, and 364 stocks declining on the BSE.
Banking stocks in focus
Nifty PSU Bank was the sole loser, led by losses in Punjab National Bank (PNB), which extended losses for the second straight day, losing over 8 per cent on the NSE. Allahabad Bank, Union Bank and Bank of Baroda also shed in the range of 0.3 per cent and 2 per cent.
Barring these four stocks, all other public sector banks and private sector banks were trading in positive terrain. The Nifty Bank index was up 0.3 per cent.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.4 per cent.
Australian stocks climbed 0.8 per cent and South Korea's KOSPI advanced 1.1 per cent. Japan's Nikkei jumped 1.1 per cent following three successive days of losses that took it to a four-month low the previous day.
Wall Street surged on Wednesday, with the Dow up 1 per cent and the S&P 500 climbing 1.34 per cent, as investors shrugged off the stronger-than-expected inflation data and snapped up shares of Facebook, Amazon.com and Apple.
US consumer prices rose more than expected in January as Americans paid more for gasoline, rental accommodation and healthcare, further raising inflation concerns and the prospect of the Federal Reserve hiking interest rates more than initially expected.