Sensex gains, up 81 points in opening trade

Mumbai: The BSE benchmark Sensex rose by nearly 81 points in opening trade today, extending the previous session`s gains on continued buying by funds and retail investors, tracking a firming trend on other Asian bourses.

The 30-share BSE index, which gained 198.77 points in the previous session, rose further by 80.93 points, or 0.47 per cent, to 17,163.62 in the first five minutes of trade today, with stocks of auto, banking, realty and metal companies leading the rally.

Likewise, the wide-based National Stock Exchange Nifty Index moved up by 19.20 points, or 0.37 per cent, to 5,151.50.

Brokers said sustained buying by funds and retail investors, driven by a firming trend on other Asian bourses in line with Friday`s firmness in the US market, influenced the trading sentiment.

In addition, expectations of better Q2 earnings from some more blue-chip companies also generated buying activity, they said.

However, stocks of the country`s largest company by market valuation, Reliance Industries, were down by 2 per cent to Rs 849.50 despite the company posting a 16 per cent growth in net profit to Rs 5,703 crore for the quarter ended September 30.

In the Asian region, Hong Kong`s Hang Seng Index rose by 1.76 per cent and Japan`s Nikkei Index by 1.53 per cent in morning trade today. The US Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 1.45 per cent higher in Friday`s trade.