Sensex rises to 3-month high, closes at 17,539

Sensex rises to 3-month high, closes at 17,539 Mumbai: The Sensex Thursday gained for the third straight day by adding nearly 76 points to end at 17,538.67, its highest closing in 3 months, amid mixed global trends ahead of a key European Central Bank (ECB) meeting.

The BSE benchmark index, which had gained 64 points in the last two days, opened higher but soon dipped to the day's low of 17,423.45 as rupee weakened to below 55-level a US dollar.

After trading in a narrow range, the Sensex finally ended at 17,538.67, up 75.86 points or 0.43 percent. This was the highest close after the index ended at 17,597.42 on April 3.

Thursday's gains were led by FMCG, banking and capital goods scrips. The 21 gainers in the 30-share index included Cipla, ICICI Bank, Tata Motors and ITC while the nine losers were led by ONGC, Bajaj Auto, Coal India and Sterlite Industries.

On similar lines, the 50-share National Stock Exchange index Nifty rose by 24.75 points or 0.47 percent to 5,327.30.

Brokers said investors edgy to buy large-caps and put money in small-cap and mid-cap stocks. The BSE Midcap and Smallcap indices rose 0.90 and 1.64 percent respectively.

The market breadth closed on a positive note with 1,946 shares closing with gains out of the 3,012 shares traded.

Globally, sentiments were mixed with Japan's Nikkei and China's Shanghai Composite ending lower while the UK's FTSE and Germany's DAX were trading marginally higher in early trade. Investors awaited the outcome of Thursday's ECB meeting, where it is expected to cut borrowing costs, dealers said.

In the Indian market, shares of retail companies including Koutons Retail, Trent and Pantaloon jumped amid speculation that government may finally allow foreign direct investment in multi-brand retail sector.

PTI