Sensex edges up, hits a six-week high of 24,804
Asian and European markets, which advanced for a third day ahead of policy reviews by Bank of Japan and the US Federal Reserve, kept sentiment upbeat in the Indian stock market.
Mumbai: Market benchmark Sensex gained for a second straight day, rising 86 points to close at a six-week high of 24,804.28 as investors chose to ignore disappointing factory output data and further fall in wholesale prices amid sustained foreign fund inflows.
Asian and European markets, which advanced for a third day ahead of policy reviews by Bank of Japan and the US Federal Reserve, kept sentiment upbeat here.
Besides, weak industrial production also couldn't stifle new bets despite declining for a third consecutive month in January.
Meanwhile, deflationary trend continued for 16th month in a row as WPI inflation declined by 0.91 percent in February, prompting India Inc to press for a rate cut by RBI to boost factory output, which has been contracting since November.
Consumer inflation data will be released later in the day.
The biggest gainer on Sensex was ICICI Bank, which climbed 3.70 percent to Rs 221.70. Besides, Tata Motors surged 3.36 percent to Rs 365.90 after the automaker on Friday said global wholesales in February, including that of Jaguar Land Rover, grew 17 percent.
Other gainers were BHEL, ONGC, GAIL, Bharti Airtel, Axis Bank, Adani Ports, SBI, ITC, HUL, NTPC, Lupin, Dr Reddy's, Cipla, Maruti Suzuki, Tata Steel, Hero MotoCorp and RIL.
The 30-share Sensex after shuttling between 24,960.51 and 24,734.04 settled 86.29 points or 0.35 percent higher at 24,804.28, its highest closing since February 1.
The NSE Nifty ended 28.55 points or 0.38 percent higher at 7,538.75 after moving in a range 7,583.70 to 7,515.05.
Market has risen in eight out of the last nine sessions, largely boosted by foreign fund inflows.
From the sectoral space, banking index gained the most by surging 0.81 percent followed by FMCG 0.69 percent, auto 0.60 percent, infra 0.58 percent, oil&gas 0.47 percent, power 0.29 percent and healthcare 0.20 percent.
Of the 30 Sensex components, 19 advanced while Coal India, M&M, TCS, Sun Pharma, Bajaj Auto, HDFC, Asian Paints, L&T, Infosys, HDFC Bank and Wipro ended lower.
Meanwhile, the broader markets too showed strength with with the BSE small-cap rising 0.41 percent and mid-cap gaining 0.31 percent.
Globally, key indices like Hong Kong, Japan and China's Shanghai Composite Index rose by up to 1.75 percent, while European markets were also higher in their early deals.