Mumbai: A sudden spurt in buying at the fag end of the trading lifted markets higher Thursday as the Sensex rebounded over 155 points to end at an almost two-week high of 26,366 as December derivatives contracts expired amid recovery in the rupee.
The broader NSE Nifty too regained the key 8,100-mark.
The rupee strengthened by 14 paise against the dollar at 68.10, which helped sentiment improve.
Mood was further boosted by India's biggest bourse NSE filing its draft prospectus for a Rs 10,000-crore IPO with the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi).
After shuttling between 26,429.41 and 26,166.67, the Sensex finally settled higher by 155.47 points, or 0.59 percent, at 26,366.15 -- its highest closing since December 19 when it closed at 26,374.70.
The index had shed 2.76 points in the previous session.
The broader Nifty ended higher by 68.75 points, or 0.86 percent, at 8,103.60 after trading between 8,111.10 and 8,020.80. This is its highest closing level too since December 19.
"Markets started the day on a flat, albeit positive note. However, a sudden bout of buying in the last 30 minutes of trade lifted the markets higher and pushed benchmark indices to close with gains of over 0.5 percent," said Karthikraj Lakshmanan, Senior Fund Manager - Equities, BNP Paribas Mutual Fund.
In typical thin year-end trade, buying amid the expiry of the December series of futures and options contracts -- the last settlement of 2016 -- supported the recovery.
Participants were seen carrying their long bets in futures and options (F&O) segment to the next series for January amid hopes of better returns in the new year, which accelerated the gains towards the fag end, they said.
Globally, other Asian markets closed mixed while European shares were in the negative mode early on following a lacklustre show of the Wall Street yesterday ahead of key US economic data.
Concerns prevailed on continuous selling of shares by foreign institutional investors, which weighed on investor sentiment and limited the gains.
Meanwhile, domestic institutional investors (DIIs) purchased shares worth Rs 824.84 crore yesterday, as per provisional data. Foreign portfolio investors net sold shares worth Rs 527.06 crore.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng rose 0.17 percent while Japan's Nikkei ended 1.32 percent lower. China's Shanghai Composite Index shed 0.20 percent. European markets were down in their early deals as Frankfurt, Paris and London indices fell up to 0.32 percent.
Market heavyweights like NTPC surged 1.68 percent, Tata Motors 1.64 percent, Maruti Suzuki 1.56 percent, HDFC 1.55 percent, TCS 1.51 percent, RIL 1.21 percent, HDFC Bank 1.12 percent and Tata Steel 1.07 percent.
Sector-wise, the BSE consumer durable index gained the most by rising 1.67 percent, followed by oil & gas (1.56 percent) and metal (1.44 percent).
The pace of buying also picked up in broader markets, lifting the BSE mid-cap index by 1.19 percent and small-cap index by 1.11 percent.