The early-morning gain in the stock markets seemed to be losing the momentum as the Sensex moved south, but still higher by 273 points, even as buying in key indices such as banks, financials and healthcare kept the rally going.
HDFC Bank was an outlier, which jumped over 8 per cent after RBI on Thursday lifted restrictions on foreign investors for purchase of shares in the company.
Investors made a dash for booking profit in counters like IT, technology, telecom, metal and auto, which restrained the bulls. The market opening was higher, with the 30-share barometer moving between 28,726.26 and 28,431.61, It was trading at 28,574.35 at 1225 hours, up 273.08 points, or 0.96 per cent over its previous close.
The NSE 50-share Nifty was also trading higher by 71.90 points, or 0.82 per cent, at 8,849.90. HDFC Bank went up 6.75 per cent, Sun Pharma 2.23 per cent, HDFC 1.96 per cent, Lupin 1.24 per cent and Cipla 0.92 percent.
Foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) sold shares worth a net Rs 215.69 crore on Thursday, provisional data showed. Asian markets were trading mixed.