Indian shares opened higher on Monday with the benchmarks Sensex and Nifty starting at record high levels, tracking gains in Asian peers. Investor sentiment improved as the progress on coronavirus vaccine front, especially in the US where regulators late on Friday authorised the vaccine from Pfizer and partner BioNTech for use. The US has also launched the largest and most complex vaccine distribution project in the country.
At 9:15 am, the Sensex opened 0.40 percent, or 185.69 points, higher at 46,284.70, while the Nifty50 index opened at 13,571.45, up 57.60 points, or 0.43 percent.
Broader markets supported the gains with Nifty Smallcap100 rallying over 1 percent while Nifty Midcap100 index adding 0.55 percent.
Among sectoral indices, the Nifty PSU Bank, Nifty Metal and Nifty Media rallied over 1 percent each followed by Nifty Pharma, Nifty Auto, Nifty Financial Services and Nifty Private Bank.
Cipla, Coal India, ONGC, IOC, L&T were the Nifty50 top gainers, while Eicher Motors, HDFC Life Insurance, Tech Mahindra, Nestle India and Wipro were the top index losers.
Shares of Cipla rallied over 4 percent after the company settled litigation with Celgene Corporation for cancer drug Revlimid.
Shares of Pfizer rallied over 1 percent after the USFDA issued emergency authorisation to Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine.
Globally, stocks started a busy week with guarded gains as investors gauged the chance of added US fiscal and monetary stimulus, while the British pound rose in relief as a last-gasp extension to Brexit talks dodged a hard divorce.
Progress on coronavirus vaccines cheered risk sentiment, with the first shipments speeding across the United States as part of an historic mission to inoculate more than 100 million people by the end of March, a Reuters report said.
E-Mini futures for the S&P 500 responded by rising 0.5 percent, while March Treasury bond futures slipped 4 ticks. EUROSTOXX 50 futures added 0.6 percent and FTSE futures 0.3 percent.
MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan edged up 0.1 percent, having hit a string of record highs last week. Japan's Nikkei added 0.6 percent as a survey showed the mood among hard-hit Japanese businesses had improved in the December quarter.
(Edited by : Ajay Vaishnav)