Mumbai: Indian equities markets rose as Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Friday started reading out his budget speech with promises of cutting subsidies and improving the investment environment.

The 30-scrip sensitive index (Sensex) of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) opened at 17,656.81 points, rose 196 points or 1.1 percent to a high of 17,871 points, before slipping to 17,766.13 points around noon.The 50-scrip S&P CNX Nifty of the National Stock Exchange similarly moved up 1.22 percent to a high of 5445.65 points. Banking stocks rose the most with Mukherjee announcing that public sector banks, including regional rural banks, would receive Rs.15,888 crore for re-capitalisation purposes.

Realty and capital goods stocks were among other major gainers.

Broader markets were also in the green with the BSE 500 index trading 0.51 percent higher. Among capital market reforms, the finance minister said he would allow foreign investors in Indian corporate debt markets this year, while simplifying the process of subscribing to shares through the initial public offering route.

The market breadth was positive with 1,407 stocks advancing, compared to 1,068 on the decline, and 116 remaining unchanged.