Mumbai: Market benchmark Sensex surged over 300 points in early trade on Thursday tracking advances in global equities as positive macroeconomic data flow and hopes of a COVID-19 vaccine boosted investor sentiment.

After touching a high of 35,724.32, the 30-share index was trading 249.01 points, or 0.70 per cent, higher at 35,663.46, while the NSE Nifty rose 76.50 points, or 0.73 per cent, to 10,506.55.

ONGC was the top gainer in the Sensex pack, surging around 4 per cent, followed by M&M, IndusInd Bank, HDFC Bank, SBI and Titan.

On the other hand, Tech Mahindra and HUL were the laggards.

In the previous session, the BSE barometer settled 498.65 points, or 1.43 per cent, higher at 35,414.45, and the broader Nifty surged 127.95 points, or 1.24 per cent, to close at 10,430.05.

Foreign institutional investors were net sellers on Wednesday, offloading equities worth Rs 1,696.45 crore, provisional exchange data showed.

According to traders, domestic indices followed gains in global benchmarks amid positive factory output data across economies.

Further, hopes for a vaccine strengthened after Germany's BioNTech and US pharmaceutical giant Pfizer reported positive preliminary results from a joint project.

Bourses in Shanghai, Hong Kong, Tokyo and Seoul were trading with significant gains.

Stock exchanges on Wall Street too ended on a positive note in overnight session.

International oil benchmark Brent crude futures rose 0.12 per cent to USD 42.08 per barrel.

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