Mumbai: India’s benchmark equity indices opened higher on Wednesday led by gains in financial, and oil and gas stocks. Gains were, however, capped as investors eye developments on US-China trade deal after Beijing threatened retaliation if Washington enacts the Hong Kong Bill.

At 9.25 am, the benchmark Sensex was up 0.23% to 38595.81 points, while the Nifty gained 0.3% to 11457.10 points.

Investors turned cautious as China threatened retaliation after the US House of Representatives passed a law that calls for an annual review of whether Hong Kong is sufficiently independent of Beijing to justify its special trading status under US law.

Back home, on the Sensex, Bajaj Finance rose 1.4%, Yes Bank was up 1.2%, RIL advanced 1%, ONGC was up 0.8%, and HDFC Bank 0.7%.

Among laggards, Vedanta Ltd fell 1.3% followed by ITC and Power Grid which were down 0.7% each.

Brokerage firm IIFL Securites said "for today, expect more color as banks and auto stocks see more buying given the earnings season and expected better credit expansion from this festive season onward".

ONGC has gained 11% in the last four sessions after the company signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with US petroleum giant EXXON-Mobil. This MoU will enable the two companies to undertake joint technical studies and cooperate in frontier areas like deep water and other Petroleum Exploration Licence (PEL) blocks of ONGC in east and west coast and open acreages for joint bidding.

Bajaj Consumer Care surged 19% after its promoter sold 3.22 crore shares or about 21.9% stake, according to data from stock exchanges. This brings down promoter holding in the company to 38%.

MCX rose 8% after the company reported an over two-fold jump in its net profit to 71.75 crore for the quarter ended September.

Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd rose 5% after The Economic Times reported that Saudi Aramco may be in the fray to buy out Indian government’s stake in the state-owned oil retailer.

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