Domestic benchmark indices opened higher on Thursday tracking the strong global cues amid the weekly expiry of F&O contracts. However, the gains were capped following the sharp FII selling.Traders will be eyeing the US inflation data scheduled later in the day, along with the December quarter earnings and guidance commentary of IT bluechips including Infosys and HCL Technologies. At 9.20, the 30-share pack BSE Sensex gained 81.76 points or 0.14 per cent to 60,187.28. NSE's barometer Nifty50 jumped 23.60 points or 0.13 per cent at 17,919.30. Broader markets rose in tandem with the headline peers and BSE midcap and smallcap indices were trading with decent gains. Fear gauge India VIX spiked half-a-per cent to 15.51-mark. The US inflation data expected tonight will be market moving. If inflation remains high, there can be a market sell-off. So, watch out for this crucial data, said VK Vijayakumar, Chief Investment Strategist at Geojit Financial Services. In India, FIIs continued their selling spree for the 14th straight session taking the cumulative selling to Rs 19,795 crores, dragging the market down. Therefore, even though FII selling can have a short-term impact, that is unlikely to last, he said. On a sectoral front, banking stocks were among the top laggards, while metal counters saw some profit booking. IT and realty stocks were leading the gains, followed by industrials and power shares. On Nifty50, HCL Tech led the gainers with a 2 per cent rally ahead of its December quarter results. It was followed by Titan, Coal India, Wipro, Infosys and Nestle, which added a per cent each. Among the losers, Bharat Petroleum, Asian Paints, Divis Labs, Tata Steel, Axis Bank and Kotak Mahindra Bank dropped a per cent each during the early trade. In the broader markets, 5Paisa Capital surged 10 per cent after Q3 earnings. Mirza International, KBC Global and DB Realty rose 5 per cent each. On the contrary, National Aluminium, Varun Beverages and Hindustan Petroleum were among the top losers.
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