Markets have gained ground on probably the most important day in the economic calendar of the country. Except for some minor tinkering and restructuring and continued focus on infrastructure and social sectors, the markets do not have much expectation from the budget this year.
Low expectations from the budget are helping the indices to hold firm as the downside from possible disappointments are low. Asian markets are trading weak today, despite a positive closing by the US indices yesterday and a fall in oil prices.
The Sensex opened above the 10300 mark at 10309 and saw a new lifetime intra-day high of 10354. The index is trading higher by 60 points at 10342 at 11.10 AM.
The Nifty opened at 3068 and saw a new lifetime high of 3083 in early trades. The index is trading higher by 10 points at 3077.
L&T is the biggest gainer among index stocks, trading over 2 per cent higher in early trades. The company had announced a large overseas order yesterday.
Oil marketing stocks are once again firm after the fall in crude prices and expectations of some indirect tax benefits in the budget. HPCL and BPCL are trading with gains of around 2 per cent each.
Gail is another stock from the oil and gas sector which has gained in early trades.
Cement stocks Grasim and ACC are firm on expectations of a continued focus on infrastructure.
Tata Power, ICICI Bank, HLL and Tata Tea are the other major gainers among index stocks.
Aluminium stocks are weak in early trades with both Nalco and Hindalco trading lower. Both stocks are trading with losses of over 1.5 per cent each.
Ranbaxy, Bharti and VSNL are the other major losers among index stocks.
Mid-caps are also trading quite firm and the market breadth is highly positive at almost 3 shares advancing to every declining share.
Agro Dutch, Jindal Photofilms and Heritage Foods are among the major gainers in mid-caps.
Softpro Solutions, Eicher Motors and Kernex are among the mid-cap losers.