The Indian equity benchmarks edged higher on Monday led by gains in index heavyweights like HDFC Bank, Infosys, ICICI Bank, State Bank of India, HDFC, Asian Paints and Tech Mahindra. Drop in oil prices in international markets and reports that India could buy Russian oil in rupee terms boosted investor sentiment, analysts said. The Sensex rose as much as 310 points and Nifty 50 index briefly moved above its important level of 16,700.
As of 9:28 am, the Sensex was up 221 points at 55,772 and Nifty 50 index advanced 18 points to 16,648.
Oil prices fell after a US official said Russia was showing signs it might be willing to have substantive negotiations over Ukraine, news agency Reuters reported.
Brent crude futures fell $1.82, or 1.6 per cent, to $110.85 a barrel.
Back home, eight of 15 sector gauges compiled by the National Stock Exchange were trading lower led by the Nifty Auto index's 1 per cent decline. Nifty Realty, FMCG, Oil & Gas, Metal and PSU Bank indces were also trading lower.
On the other hand, Nifty IT, Bank, Financial Services, Media and Private Bank indices were trading on a positive note.
Tata Motors was top Nifty loser, the stock fell 2.3 per cent to Rs 409. Hindustan Unilever, Indian Oil, SBI Life, Eicher Motors, Mahindra & Mahindra, Britannia Industries, Shree Cement, Bajaj Auto, HDFC Life, Bharat Petroleum and Dr Reddy's Labs also fell between 1-1.65 per cent.
On the flipside, Infosys, HDFC Bank, Tech Mahindra, Wipro, State Bank of India, TCS, Sun Pharma and ICICI Bank were among the gainers.
The overall market breadth was marginally positive as 1,561 shares were advancing while 1,292 were declining on the BSE.