Sensex was trading 243/62 points down at 47,705.80 while the Nifty was down 63 points at 14,296.40. Bajaj Finance, Dr Reddy's, Mahindra & Mahindra, and Bajaj Finserv were up 3 percent. The S&P BSE MidCap and SmallCap indices traded 0.6 percent higher, each.

Wockhardt, ICICI Prudential Life Insurance, Astrazeneca Pharma India were among top gainers while Bajaj Consumer Care, Dalmia Bharat, HCL Tech were among major losers. Pharma major Wockhardt rose 14.57 percent to Rs 523.95; Astrazeneca Pharma by 9.58 percent to 3,934.70. ICICI Prudential Life Insurance was up 8.57 percent at Rs 491. Among the top losers were Bajaj Consumer Care by 3 percent at Rs 301.85, Dalmia Bharat 2.96 percent down at Rs 1,458.15 and HCL Tech by 2.94 percent to Rs 967.55.

The key Indian equity indices opened on a positive note on Tuesday with healthy buying banking, finance and auto stocks. Equity benchmark indices traded higher during early hours on Tuesday as the government's decision to vaccinate every citizen above the age of 18 years against Covid-19 from May 1 buoyed investor sentiment.

At 09:16 IST, the Nifty was up 151.80 points or 1.06 percent at 14511.30. Sensex was up 438.92 points or 0.92 percent at 48388.34. About 1090 shares have advanced, 210 shares declined, and 43 shares are unchanged.

Though the Centre has allowed everyone in the age group of 18 years and above to be eligible for vaccination from 1 May, the shortage of vaccines in Maharashtra can be an issue, stock market analysts said.

On Monday (April 19) the Sensex close at 47,949.42, down 882.61 points, or 1.81 percent, while the Nifty was at 14,359.45, down 258.40 points, or 1.77 pecent. The BSE midcap and smallcap indices closed 1.93 percent and 1.64 percent lower, respectively. Health, real estate, banks, financials and auto sectoral indices were the top losers.

Rupee up 23 paise

The rupee advanced by 23 paise to 74.64 against the US dollar in opening trade on Tuesday, tracking weaker dollar against key rivals and a positive trend in the domestic equity market.

Forex traders said the government's decision to open COVID vaccination to all above 18 years from May 1 lifted investor sentiment.

At the interbank forex market, the local unit opened at 74.65 against the US dollar, then gained some strength to quote at 74.64, a rise of 23 paise over its last close.

In the previous session, the rupee had settled at 74.87 against the American currency.

Meanwhile, the dollar index, which gauges the greenback's strength against a basket of six currencies, fell 0.14 per cent to 90.94.

The rupee started this Tuesday on a stronger note against the US dollar, tracking the overall weakness of the dollar, Reliance Securities said in a research note.

"Gains could be capped by the surge in coronavirus infections leading to stricter lockdowns and in turn hampering the recovery of the economy," the note said.

However, hopes for COVID-19 vaccination from May to all above 18 years could stem the rise of infections and limit the damage caused to the economy and cap weakness of the currency, it added.

Meanwhile, global oil benchmark, Brent crude futures, rose 0.95 percent to $67.69 per barrel.

On the domestic equity market front, the BSE Sensex was trading 278.33 points or 0.58 percent higher at 48,227.75 in early deals, while the broader NSE Nifty rose 87.40 points or 0.61 percent 14,446.85.

Foreign institutional investors were net sellers in the capital market on Monday as they sold shares worth Rs 1,633.70 crore, as per exchange data.

Asian shares up

Asian shares rose on Tuesday, led by a stronger Chinese opening and shaking off the initial drag from tech-driven Wall Street losses, while the dollar stayed at multiweek lows against other major currencies.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan gained 0.2 percent, swinging into positive territory after Chinese blue chips rose 0.13percent. South Korea gained 0.4percent. Elsewhere, Japan's Nikkei dropped 1.84percent, as the country continues to grapple with resurgence in COVID cases. Australia slipped 0.33 percent.

Hong Kong fell 0.11percent although Chinese food delivery giant Meituan's shares rose 1.59 percent after the company said it had raised a huge $9.98 billion through an equity and convertible bond sale.

Vaccine hopes boost currencies

Vaccine hopes boost euro, dollar on back foot as yields off highs. The dollar wallowed near a six-week low against its peers on Tuesday as the euro led a rally on the back of a brightening outlook for the region's vaccination programme.

The dollar had already been losing traction as US bond yields have hovered below a 14-month peak touched last month, reducing the greenback's yield attraction.

The euro rose to $1.2038 , having touched a six-week high of $1.2048 on Monday while the British pound gained 1% overnight, its second biggest daily gain so far this year, and last stood at $1.3989 .

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