Mumbai: The BSE benchmark Sensex rallied by over 220 points in opening trade on Friday on fresh buying by funds and retail investors, driven by a firming trend in global markets.

The 30-share index, which gained 17.08 points in Thursday’s volatile session, surged by 220.33 points, or 1.26 per cent, to 17,702.26 in the first five minutes of trade on the back of a rise in oil and gas, auto, metal, realty and IT sector stocks.

In a similar fashion, the wide-based National Stock Exchange Nifty index moved up by 60.35 points, or 1.14 per cent, to 5,326.10.

Brokers attributed the rise to a firming trend in Asia, in the wake of higher close in the US market yesterday after Greece scrapped a referendum on unpopular budget cuts and the European Central Bank unexpectedly cut interest rates.

They said stocks of oil companies were in good demand as a hike in petrol prices would reduce their subsidy burden.

Stocks of Bharti Airtel fell by 0.46 per cent to Rs 390.75 after the company posted a 38.17 per cent decline in Q2 net profit to Rs 1,027 crore.

In Asia, Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index was up 3.39 per cent, while Japan's Nikkei Index rose by 1.05 per cent in morning trade. In the US, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 1.76 per cent higher in Thursday’s trade.