Mumbai: Rising for third consecutive day, the BSE benchmark Sensex Thursday advanced by 34 points to close at fresh 28-month high on good gains in heavyweight Reliance Industries and banking shares like ICICI Bank and HDFC Bank amid continued hopes of a rate cut.
The BSE benchmark Sensex resumed lower on profit-booking in select counters. However, it recovered afterwards to settle for the day at 20,247.33, clocking a gain of 34.37 points of 0.17 percent from last close. It has gained over 556 points in three sessions.
L&T, Dr Reddy's Lab, Cipla and ONGC attracted good buying interest while ITC, Infosys, Tata Motors and TCS registered losses, restricting the Sensex's rise.
Besides, Apollo Hospitals, Oil India, Wockhardt and GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare saw upto 8 percent gains after they were added to the MSCI (Morgan Stanley Capital International) India index.
The NSE 50-share Nifty also firmed up by 23.15 points or 0.38 percent to close at more-than 30-month high of 6,169.90. Previously, it had closed at 6,194.25 on November 11, 2010.
Also, the MCX-SX flagship index SX40 rose by 29.35 points, or 0.25 percent, to end at 11,954.49.
"Stock-specific action was seen with Reliance, ICICI Bank and other banking stocks, and some of the pharma stocks like Cipla and Lupin leading the rally. Global markets also boosted the market sentiment," said Nidhi Saraswat, Senior Research Analyst, Bonanza Portfolio.
Globally, Asian shares ended higher after data showed Japan's economy accelerated in the first three months of the year. Key benchmark indices in China, South Korea, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Taiwan rose in 0.17-1.21 percent range, while Japanese Nikkei eased by 0.39 percent.
European markets showed a mixed trend in the early trade after rising to multi-year highs yesterday.
Key European indices in France and Germany eased by 0.21 percent and 0.31 percent respectively, while the one in UK inched up by 0.05 percent.
US stocks rose yesterday with the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 hitting new all-time highs in a broad market rally as the recent upward momentum persisted.
Moving to the domestic market, 16 scrips out of the 30- share Sensex pack ended lower while 14 others finished higher.
Major gainers were Hindalco Industries (2.68 percent), Cipla (2.62 percent), Reliance Industries (2.61 percent), Dr Reddy's Lab (2.48 percent), Sterlite Ind. (2.07 percent), SBI (1.27 percent), BHEL (1.15 percent), ICICI Bank (1.15 percent) and HDFC Bank (1.11 percent).
However, ITC dropped by 1.71 percent, followed by Tata Motors (1.69 percent), Infosys (1.19 percent), TCS (1.02 percent) and Tata Power (0.96 percent).
Among the sectoral indices, S&P BSE-Realty rose by 1.81 percent, followed by S&P BSE-Oil&Gas (1.64 percent), S&P BSE-HC (1.53 percent) and S&P BSE-Bankex (1.11 percent). However, S&P BSE-FMCG dropped by 1.06 percent, S&P BSE-IT 0.99 percent and S&P BSE-Teck 0.87 percent.
Total market breadth turned negative as 1,032 stocks closed with losses while 952 scrips finished with gains. 96 stocks ruled steady.
Total turnover firmed up further to Rs 2,387.44 crore from Rs 2,277.27 crore yesterday.
Foreign institutional investors (FIIs) bought shares worth a net Rs 1,646.95 crore yesterday as per provisional data from the stock exchanges.