Mumbai: Extending gains for the fifth straight day, the Sensex on Monday closed higher by 86 points to over two-week high of 17,852.95 amid government saying hike in fuel prices was "unavoidable" and hopes of rate cut by RBI.
The BSE benchmark index received support from banking stocks ahead of IIP data release Wednesday, hoping weak numbers would prompt RBI to cut rates in its September 17 policy meet, brokers said.
The Sensex, which had gained 455 points in the last four trading sessions, rose over 101 points today but pared some gains to close 86.17 points, or 0.49 percent, up at 17,852.95 -- its highest level since August 21.
The 30-share index was led by gains in HDFC, NTPERCENT, GAIL, TCS and ICICI Bank that gained in 1.2-2.5 percent range.
Metal stocks, however, dropped under pressure with reports of slowing demand. Jindal Steel, Sterlite Industries and Tata Steel were among the biggest losers in Sensex.
The broad-based National Stock Exchange swung between gains and losses before ending higher by 26.55 points, or 0.50 percent to 5,390.
The Cabinet Committee on Political Affairs (CCPA), which is headed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, was scheduled to meet this evening but it was postponed without assigning any reason or fixing a new date.
"As I said before, however painful and difficult the increase in price of oil product may be, increase is unavoidable...," Oil Minister S Jaipal Reddy said in New Delhi before announcement of CCPA meeting being postponed was made.
Meanwhile, Asian shares ended narrow mixed ahead of a key German ruling on the euro zone's bailout funds and the US Federal Reserve's policy decision.
European stocks were trading lower in their early trade amid concern developments in Spain or Germany will derail the European Central Bank's bond-buying plan.
Key benchmark indices in Taiwan, Singpaore and Hong Kong ended higher between 0.03-0.26 percent while those from Japan, China and South Korea ended down by 0.24-0.70 percent.
Benchmark indices in France, Germany and UK dropped by 0.14-0.42 percent on weak cues.
Out of the 30 Sensex shares, 17 closed with gains while others finished with losses.
HDFC was the top gainer from the Sensex pack with a rise of 2.49 percent, followed by NTPERCENT (1.81 percent), GAIL India (1.66 percent), BHEL (1.41 percent), TCS (1.41 percent), ICICI Bank (1.20 percent), ITC (1.04 percent), Hindalco (0.97 percent) and Infosys (0.70 percent).
However, Sterlite dipped by 4.43 percent, Jindal Steel by 3.13 percent. Hero MotoCorp, Tata Steel, HUL and L&T fell between 0.5-1.00 percent.
The total market breadth remained positive as 1,574 shares settled higher while 1,263 finished lower.
The total turnover was low but slightly higher at Rs 1,787.78 crore than overnight turnover of Rs 1,777.89 crore on Monday.
The main market mover, Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs) bought shares worth a net Rs 692.73 crore on Wednesday as per provisional data from the stock exchange.