Key equity indices pared gains in morning trade as profit selling emerged at higher levels. At 10:27 IST, the barometer index, the S&P BSE Sensex, was up 221.35 points or 0.58% at 38,245.67. The Nifty 50 index was up 62.85 points or 0.55% at 11,489.70.
Indices opened with strong gains, but trimmed gains as the session progressed. Investors sentiment continued to be strong amid positive cues from other Asian shares.
Among secondary barometers, the BSE Mid-Cap index was up 0.29%. The BSE Small-Cap index was up 0.21%. Both these indices underperformed the Sensex.
The market breadth, indicating the overall health of the market, was positive. On BSE, 1137 shares rose and 887 shares fell. A total of 134 shares were unchanged.
Most metal shares advanced. Jindal Steel & Power (up 2.26%), NMDC (up 1.13%), Tata Steel (up 0.76%), Hindustan Copper (up 0.72%), Steel Authority of India (up 0.29%), JSW Steel (up 0.19%) and Hindalco Industries (up 0.05%), edged higher. National Aluminium Company (down 0.18%), Hindustan Zinc (down 0.4%) and Vedanta (down 0.88%), edged lower.
FMCG shares were mixed. Colgate Palmolive (India) (up 1.85%), Godrej Consumer Products (up 1.21%), Dabur India (up 0.51%), Nestle India (up 0.30%), Hindustan Unilever (up 0.29%) and Britannia Industries (up 0.16%), edged higher. Jyothy Laboratories (down 0.08%), GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare (down 0.11%), Procter & Gamble Hygiene & Health Care (down 0.35%), Tata Global Beverages (down 0.57%), Marico (down 0.62%) and Bajaj Corp (down 0.98%), edged lower.
On the economic front, India's trade deficit plunged 22% to 17-month low of $9.60 billion in February 2019 from $12.30 billion in February 2018. Merchandise exports rose 2.4% to $26.67 billion in February 2019 over a year ago. Merchandise imports dipped 5.4% to $36.26 billion. Oil imports declined 8.1% to $9.38 billion, while the non-oil imports also fell 4.4% to $26.89 billion in February 2019 over February 2018. The share of oil imports in total imports was 25.9% in February 2019, compared with 26.6% in February 2018.
Overseas, Asian shares were trading higher on Monday as investors awaited developments on the US-China trade front.
US stocks closed higher Friday, buoyed by encouraging headlines on US-China trade negotiations and Chinese assurances of forthcoming economic stimulus. According to reports, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang expressed optimism that a trade deal between China and the US can be achieved that suits both parties.
China will stick to its current targeted economic support strategy and resist the temptation to engage in large-scale stimulus like quantitative easing or a massive expansion in public spending, Li Keqiang added.
On the US data front, the New York Fed's Empire State index fell to a reading of 3.7 in March from 8.8 in the prior month. US industrial production rose by 0.1% in February. January's figure, however, was raised to show a 0.4% drop. Job openings in the US rose to 7.58 million in January, the third-highest level on record, according to the Labor Department.
Consumer sentiment rose in March to 97.8 from 93.8 in February, according to a preliminary reading of the University of Michigan consumer sentiment index.