Mumbai: Markets looked set to log their first monthly gain after falling in the two previous months and traded 0.3 percent higher on Thursday along with Asian peers, after Greece passed austerity measures and moved closer to avoiding a debt default.
Trade is likely to be choppy in the last hours of trade as monthly derivative contracts expire on the NSE.
Financials led the gains, attempting to cover up after the poor show this year. The sector index was up 0.5 percent, but is down 5% year-to-date.
At 10:16am, the 30-share BSE index was up 0.29% at 18,747.79 points, with 21 components advancing. It is up 1.3% so far in June, but has erased 3.6% this quarter. The 50-share NSE index was up 0.3% at 5,615.10.
The index is still set to fall for the second quarter in a row. Prior to the January-March quarter, it had logged gains for eight straight quarters.
Foreign funds have bought Indian equities worth $958 million in the four sessions to 28 June, after dumping $688 million over the previous nine days.
Still, traders do not believe sentiment has turned bullish, as the country faces a slowdown in growth while the central bank tackles sticky inflation.
“It is too early to say if there is an uptrend. It looks like a relief rally,” said Vaibhav Sanghavi, director of Ambit Capital.
Top lender State Bank of India firmed 0.9%, while rivals ICICI Bank and HDFC Bank rose 0.4% and 0.2%, respectively.
Mortgage lender Housing Development Finance Corp gained 0.3%.
An overnight spike in oil prices pulled down state-run oil companies. Brent held above $112 buoyed by tighter oil stocks in the United States.
State-run explorer Oil & Natural Gas Corp was down 0.9% and state-run oil marketing companies Hindustan Petroleum Corp , Bharat Petroleum Corp , Indian Oil Corp fell between 0.8% and 2%
Around 131 million shares were dealt on the NSE with gainers beating losers in the ratio of 1.5 to 1.
Mindtree was up 12.3% at Rs 405.30 after 2.2 million shares, or 5.5% equity of the company that provides software, research and development services, changed hands in a block deal.
Top mobile operator Bharti Airtel was down 2.6% at Rs 395. The stock had risen more than 5% in the previous five sessions.