The BSE benchmark Sensex today gained over 45 points in early trade on sustained buying by funds and retailers in oil and gas, PSUs, IT and banking sector stocks, after Finance Minister P Chidambaram reaffirmed government's commitment to reforms.
The 30-share barometer moved up by 45.67 points, or 0.22 per cent, to trade at 20,072.28 points in early trade.
The index had gained 45.04 points yesterday.
The wide-based index of National Stock Exchange, Nifty, gained 11.00 points, or 0.18 per cent, to 6,065.30.
Brokers said trading sentiment remained firm on continued buying by funds and retail investors, after the Finance Minister reaffirmed government's commitment to reforms.
Besides, a firming trend in other Asian markets after data showing that Chinese manufacturing activity had hit a two-year high in January, too had a positive impact, they said.
In the Asian region, the Japan's Nikkei rose by 1.28 per cent, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng shed 0.02 per cent in morning trade. The US Dow Jones Industrial Average ended 0.49 per cent higher in yesterday's trade.
Stocks to watch-Jan 24
(Reuters): GLOBAL MARKETS ROUND UP
Nifty futures on the Singapore Exchange fell 0.14 percent. The MSCI-Asia Pacific index, excluding Japan was up 0.06 percent.
Asian shares steadied on Thursday after manufacturing data from China confirmed a recovery in the world's second biggest economy was on track.
The S&P 500 rose for a sixth day on Wednesday after stronger-than-expected profits from IBM and Google Inc but the rally could be halted as Apple's after-hours miss sent its shares lower.
FACTORS TO WATCH
Larsen & Toubro Ltd earnings (0715 GMT)
Duvvuri Subbarao, governor of India's Reserve Bank of India will meet Finance Minister P Chidambaram on Thursday, ahead of Jan. 29 policy review.
INDIAN STOCKS TO WATCH
ING is to sell its 26 percent stake in an Indian insurance venture to local partner Exide Industries Ltd , the second foreign insurer to exit a competitive sector in India within a year.
India's oil ministry will soon recommend a revision in local gas prices, a government source said, which if accepted would bring a windfall for state-run producers Oil and Natural Gas Corp Ltd and Oil India Ltd.
GOL Offshore Ltd is selling real estate property to fund redemption of its 2-billion rupees foreign currency convertible bonds that are due in April, three persons close to the development said.
Jaiprakash Associates Ltd has deferred a planned sale of shares in its unit Jaypee Infratech after share prices of the subsidiary fell 8.5 percent on Wednesday, the parent company said in a stock filing.
New Millennium Iron Corp, a Canadian iron ore exploration and mining company 26.5 percent owned by Tata Steel Ltd opened a 2.8 percent share buyback plan on Wednesday, according to a filing to Toronto Stock Exchange.
Rallis India Ltd's October-December net profit rose more than two-fold to 220.3 million rupees from 76.6 million rupees a year ago.
Reliance Communications Ltd reported a decline in profit for the second straight quarter as its finance costs jumped.
Vodafone's India unit said it was inclined to follow price moves by competitors but has not decided on precise steps.
Longchamp is planning to enter India this year and is scouting for a local retail partner to set up its operations, a person familiar with the development
Tech Mahindra Ltd will increase local hiring in the United States and Europe as it seeks to become a more international partner to its customers, Chief Executive C P Gurnani said.
Jaguar Land Rover, part of Tata Motors Ltd is likely to report a lower EBITDA margin in the October-December quarter compared with the previous two quarters, the company said on Wednesday, due to exchange rate fluctuations and a higher mix of Evoque sales.
The Fiat Group may rope in Tata Capital Ltd for vehicle financing in India, the Business Line newspaper reported.
"We hope to have the arrangement with the Tatas by April," said Enrico Atanasi, Managing Director, Fiat India.
The Supreme Court has directed all airlines not to charge any transaction fee from passengers and rapped the sector regulator for failing to enforce its own circular issued earlier to this effect.
South African drug company Cipla Medpro is expected to demand more than the $215 million on offer from Indian suitor Cipla Ltd to reflect a lucrative government contract win that will increase its earnings power.