Benchmark indices were trading higher, boosted by hopes of a Covid-19 vaccine and on strong cues from across the globe.
US markets ended strong, while Asia was higher, following reports that Oxford University's Phase-1 and Phase-2 trials on their Covid-19 vaccine showed that there was no major adverse reaction and it induced a strong antibody and T cell immune response among participants. The Sensex was trading with gains of 350 points, while the Nifty jumped 106 points in early trade.
Banking and finance stocks were higher, following a few weeks of underperformance. Axis Bank was trading higher by 2 per cent ahead of quarterly numbers to be announced later today. ICICI Bank too was higher by almost 3 per cent, pulling the Bank Nifty.
HDFC Bank shares were 1.6 per cent higher, despite reports in the Economic Times that 6 employees were sacked for rigging car loans.
Top Nifty gainers in trade were Wipro, ICICI Bank, Axis Bank and Adani Ports. Stocks that lost ground were Mahindra and Mahindra, Bharti Airtel and ITC. Shares in HUL were flat ahead of quarterly results to be declared later today.
Meanwhile, most Asian markets were trading higher led by the Japanese Nikkei and the Hong Kong's Hang Sang.