MUMBAI: Markets on Thursday started marginally higher in early trade with the Sensex up 21 points at 20,047 and the Nifty added four points to open at 6,058.
The Asian market edged higher over the manufacturing data released from China which confirmed a recovery in the world's second biggest economy was on track, easing nervousness caused by a sharp drop in Apple Inc shares after its earnings report.
On Wednesday, U.S. stocks gained ground, helping the S&P 500 and the Dow hit new 5-year highs. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 0.49 percent, to 13,779, the S&P 500 gained 0.15 percent, to 1,495, and the Nasdaq Composite added 0.33 percent, to 3,154.
Sectors like, Oil & Gas, PSU, IT, FMCG and Realty indices up 0.4-1.6% were the top gainers. However, Auto, Metal and Consumer Durables indices started in the red, down 0.04-2.7%.
The top gainers among the Sensex stocks were ONGC followed by Wipro, Coal India, ITC, TCS, Infosys and Hindustan Unilever.
The major losers were Gail India, Sterlite, Cipla, Maruti Suzuki, Hindalco, Mahindra & Mahindra,Tata Power, Hero MotoCorp and Bharti Airtel down 1-2%.
The top draggers were Tata Motors which tanked 7% in opening deals after the company said that EBITDA or operating margin for December quarter (Q3) is likely to be slightly lower than in the previous two quarters.