Driven by gains in banking, metal and energy stocks, ahead of key macroeconomic data releases, domestic equity benchmark BSE Sensex advanced 150 points in early session on Thursday.

After touching a high of 37,421.13, the 30-share index was trading 129.68 points, or 0.35%, higher at 37,400.50 at 9:40am, while the broader NIFTY rose 34.65 points, or 0.31%, to 11,070.35. 

In the previous session, the BSE barometer ended 125.37 points, or 0.34%, higher at 37,270.82. Similarly, the broader NSE Nifty rose 32.65 points, or 0.30%, to finish at 11,035.70.

Top gainers in the Sensex pack on Wednesday included Tata Steel, ICICI Bank, IndusInd Bank, ONGC, Vedanta, Sun Pharma, HDFC, SBI, M&M, Maruti and HCL Tech, rising up to 2.43%.

On the other hand, Yes Bank, Tata Motors, Bharti Airtel, Bajaj Auto, Infosys and Axis Bank fell up to 2.72%.

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On Wednesday, foreign portfolio investors bought shares worth a net of Rs 266.89 crore, and domestic institutional investors purchased equities worth Rs 1,132.42 crore, provisional data showed.

Besides positive cues from global markets, domestic investors are waiting factory output and inflation data, scheduled to be released later in the day, traders said.

"The recent announcement related to government's intent to front load capital investments in infrastructure development to support the economy has also boosted the sentiments," said Gaurav Dua, Senior VP, Head Capital Market Strategy, Sharekhan by BNP Paribas.

Elsewhere in Asia, bourses in Shanghai, Japan and Korea were trading in the green in their respective late morning sessions amid hopes of a resolution in the US-China trade tiff and expectations that the European Central Bank would kick off monetary easing by global central banks.
On Wall Street, bourses ended significantly higher on Wednesday.

The rupee, meanwhile, appreciated 33 paise against its previous close at 71.33 in early session.

Global oil benchmark Brent crude rose 0.43% to 61.24 per barrel (intra-day).

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