Domestic stock markets started Thursday's session on a strong note, ahead of the RBI's policy decision. The Sensex rose as much as 170  points to hit 37,145 in early trade while the Nifty touched 11,101, up 39 points from the previous close. Analysts awaited the outcome of the three-day policy review meeting of the Reserve Bank of India's Monetary Policy Committee due later in the day.

At 9:23 am, the Sensex traded 116 points - or 0.3 per cent - higher at 37,091 while the Nifty was at 11,092, up 30 points from the previous close. Top gainers on the 50-scrip index were Sun Pharma, Cipla, HCL Tech, Adani Ports and Tata Motors, trading between 1.3 per cent and 2.5 per cent higher.

The gains in the domestic equity markets came despite muted trade in Asian peers, where shares looked set for a sleepy session with China still on holiday and no major economic data on the diary.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was little moved in early trade after ending almost unchanged on Wednesday. Japan's Nikkei dipped 0.2 per cent, while E-Mini futures for the S&P 500 were off 0.06 per cent in very thin trade.