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Mumbai: Equity benchmark Sensex rose over 250 points in early trade on Friday tracking gains in index majors Reliance Industries, HDFC and ICICI Bank amid persistent foreign fund inflows.

After touching its record intra-day high of 46,212.53 in the opening session, the 30-share BSE index was trading 249.43 points or 0.54 per cent higher at 46,209.31.

Similarly, the broader NSE Nifty rose 73.20 points or 0.54 per cent to 13,551.50. It hit a high of 13,553.80.

ONGC was the top gainer in the Sensex pack, rallying around 6 per cent, followed by SBI, NTPC, Bajaj Finance, Tata Steel, Bajaj Finserv, HDFC and Reliance Industries.

On the other hand, Asian Paints, Tech Mahindra, Infosys and Nestle India were among the laggards.

In the previous session, Sensex settled 143.62 points or 0.31 per cent lower at 45,959.88. The broader NSE Nifty fell 50.80 points or 0.38 per cent to 13,478.30.

Foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) were net buyers in the capital market as they purchased shares worth Rs 2,259.98 crore on a net basis on Thursday, according to provisional exchange data.

"Domestic equities look good at the moment. FPIs continue to remain as a key driving force for the markets. Given the dovish tone of global central bankers, improved prospects of sound earnings growth and weak dollar index, we believe FPIs flow should remain benign in subsequent periods," said Binod Modi Head-Strategy at Reliance Securities.

However, a sharp rise in Brent price and input prices can pose a near-term threat for earnings recovery, he said.

"US equities ended mixed as sharp rise in weekly jobless claim data and slow progress on fiscal stimulus weighed on investors' sentiments despite satisfactory progress on vaccine approvals and distribution process. However, extension of the asset buying program by EUR 500 billion in European Central Bank (ECB) policy bodes well for global equities especially emerging markets," he added.

Elsewhere in Asia, bourses in Shanghai and Tokyo were trading in the red in mid-session deals, while Hong Kong and Seoul were in the positive territory.

Meanwhile, the global oil benchmark Brent crude futures were trading 0.04 per cent higher at USD 50.23 per barrel.




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