Sensex, Nifty hold morning gains; Asia lower, Hindalco up 4%

Equity benchmarks maintained morning gains with the Nifty holding 8250 level, supported by banks, oil and auto stocks. It was despite weakness in Asian peers. 

The 30-share BSE Sensex was up 134.69 points at 26861.24 and the 50-share NSE Nifty rose 37.95 points to 8274 while the BSE Midcap index gained 0.34 percent and Smallcap climbed 0.7 percent on positive breadth.

About 1534 shares advanced against 908 declining shares on the BSE.

Tata Motors, GAIL, Adani Ports, Tata Steel, HDFC Bank, Hindalco Industries, Tata Motors (DVR) and BPCL were top gainers, up 1-4 percent while Eicher Motors, Axis Bank, IndusInd Bank, Ambuja Cements, Power Grid and Dr Reddy's Labs were under pressure.

Asian markets were under pressure, as investor sentiment soured after the Dow retreated further from the 20,000 mark and oil prices plunged as much as 4 percent overnight. Australia's ASX 200 fell 0.8 percent, seeing broad losses across all sub-indexes except for gold which was up 1.81 percent. Japanese benchmark Nikkei 225 slipped 0.79 percent, like due to the yen's strength.

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