Mumbai: Equity benchmark indices ruled strong during early hours on Friday ahead of the highly anticipated Union Budget for 2019-20.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman is scheduled to present the new government’s first budget which is expected to boost spending while allowing for the fiscal deficit target to rise.
A day earlier, the Economic Survey projected GDP growth rebounding from a five-year low to 7 percent in the current financial year 2019-20.
At 10:00 am, the BSE S&P Sensex was up 46 points at 39,954 while the Nifty 50 gained 8 points to 11,958.
At the National Stock Exchange, most sectoral indices were in the positive zone except for IT, metal and pharma. The gains were however marginal.
Among stocks, Indiabulls Housing Finance, Bharti Infratel, Hindustan Lever, Larsen & Toubro and IndusInd Bank were in the green.
But Yes Bank lost over 3.8 percent and ONGC over 2 percent. Vedanta, NTPC and Bharat Petroleum also showed losses.
Meanwhile, broader Asian markets kept their gains on hopes of a possible rate cut by the US Federal Reserve. Shares in Japan, Australia, and South Korea rose but China and Hong Kong stocks opened little changed.
Investors remained edgy after comments on Chinese and European currency manipulation by US President Donald Trump.