New Delhi: Market benchmark Sensex surged by 481 points on Wednesday to 25,626.75 -- its highest level in nearly three and a half months -- led by gains in banking and auto stocks on forecast of an 'above normal' monsoon and positive macroeconomic data.
Bullish global cues sparked by surging oil prices after reports of a deal between Russian and Saudi Arabia to limit the output and strong data from China also played a part.
For the holiday-shortened week, the Sensex and Nifty logged a hefty rise of 952.91 points or 3.86 percent and 295.25 points or 3.76 percent, respectively, halting two straight weekly slide.
Markets will remain closed tomorrow and Friday on account of Ambedkar Jayanti and Ram Navmi, respectively.
Sentiment was extremely bullish after the Met Department predicted above-normal showers this year, retail inflation fell to a six-month low of 4.83 percent in March and the IIP expanded at a better-than-expected 2 percent in February.
In its World Economic Outlook, the IMF retained its 7.5 percent GDP expansion forecast for India in 2016 and 2017.
The Sensex stayed in the positive zone throughout the session and ended higher by 481.16 points or 1.91 percent at 25,626.75 -- its highest closing since January 1.
Recapturing the 7,800-level, the broader NSE Nifty hit a high of 7,864.80 before settling at 7,850.45, up 141.50 points or 1.84 percent.
From the 30-share Sensex kitty, 28 ended in the green.
IT major Wipro finished 2.89 percent higher at Rs 584.60 after the company said its board would consider a proposal for buy-back of equity shares later this month.
Other prominent gainers included Bajaj Auto, BHEL, Maruti Suzuki, Tata Motors, Hero MotoCorp, Hindustan Unilever, Tata Steel, ITC, SBI, HDFC, RIL, Cipla, Axis Bank and HDFC Bank, rising by up to 4.95 percent.
Sectorally, the BSE auto index was the biggest gainer as it rose by 3.59 percent followed by banking 2.56 percent, metal 2.14 percent, FMCG 1.86 percent, realty 1.69 percent and power 1.37 percent.
Persistent buying by retail investors lifted the small-cap index by 1.06 percent and the mid-cap by 0.91 percent.
Globally, most Asian stocks settled higher with Hong Kong's Hang Seng gaining 3.19 percent, Japan's Nikkei rising 2.84 percent and Shanghai Composite Index surging 1.42 percent, helped by data showing a better-than-expected rise in Chinese exports. European stocks also ruled higher with stronger oil.