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