Positive global cues lift equity markets

Mumbai: Positive global cues on the back of higher crude oil prices lifted the Indian equity markets during the mid-afternoon trade session on Friday. Healthy buying was witnessed in banking, automobile and metal stocks. The wider 51-scrip Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) edged up 65.55 points or 0.76 per cent to 8,657.70 points. The barometer 30-scrip sensitive index (Sensex) of the BSE, which opened at 27,919.95 points, traded at 28,129.31 points (at 1.45 p.m.) -- up 269.71 points or 0.97 per cent, from its previous close at 27,859.60 points. The Sensex has so far touched a high of 28,161.43 points and a low of 27,900.91 points during the intra-day trade. The BSE market breadth was tilted in favour of the bulls -- with 1,312 advances and 1,186 declines. On Thursday, the benchmark indices had closed marginally in the green, buoyed by short covering and value buying. The barometer index had risen by 84.72 points or 0.31 per cent to 27,774.88 points, while the Nifty inched up by 16.85 points or 0.20 per cent. "Key indices were lifted on the back of fresh buying support. Healthy buying was triggered by firm Asian markets, higher crude oil prices and positive quarterly results," Anand James, Chief Market Strategist at Geojit BNP Paribas Financial Services, said. "However, negative European markets and caution over the upcoming macro-economic data capped gains." According to Dhruv Desai, Director and Chief Operating Officer of Tradebulls, CNX Nifty held on to its initial gains on the back of fresh buying support.  "Most banking stocks traded firm. Stocks of SBI (State Bank of India) traded firm on positive Q1 (first quarter) earnings. However, IT and pharma stocks traded with mixed sentiments on profit booking," Desai noted. "Auto stocks traded firm on continued buying support. Most sugar stocks showed recovery from intra-day low due to short covering."