Backed by a rally in the rest of Asia on hopes of more stimulus in Europe and Japan and rebound in oil prices following a severe storm in the US, the benchmark Sensex extended its weekend rally and ended over 50 points higher at 24,485.95.
Covering-up of outstanding short positions and better earnings by some companies helped, but caution ahead of an approaching January derivatives expiry on Thursday tempered mood.
Sentiment remained upbeat though, tracking a firming trend in Asia as investors bet on central bank stimulus measures to support markets after the global rout in equities at the start of the year.
Brokers said heightened speculation that the US Fed would push back another rate hike for now, having increased the cost of borrowing in December for the first time nearly in a decade, positively impacted shares.
The rebound in stocks came on value-buying too as investors felt that a sell-off which dragged down the Sensex to levels last seen before Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s party swept to power in May 2014 was overdone, they added.
After opening in the positive zone, the 30-share Sensex barometer rose further to hit a high of 24,650.57 in late morning trade.
But it failed to sustain momentum due to profit-booking at higher levels before settle higher by 50.29 points, or 0.21 per cent, at 24,485.95.
The gauge had rallied 473.45 in the previous trading session on Friday on hopes of a fresh stimulus from the euro zone and rebound in crude prices.
Also, the 50-issue NSE Nifty after shuttling between 7,487.15 and 7,421.20, ended at 7,436.15, up 13.70 points, or 0.18 per cent.
The metal index advanced the most by surging 1.58 per cent, followed by consumer durables (1.34 per cent), healthcare (0.97 per cent), realty (0.50 per cent), IT (0.31 per cent) and bankex (0.21 per cent).
Tata Steel emerged as the top gainer in the Sensex climbing 2.73 per cent to close at Rs 253.85, followed by drug major Sun Pharma (up 2.25 per cent) at Rs 807.80.
Stocks of HDFC Bank surged 0.94 per cent to Rs 1,039.95 after the company today reported 20.1 per cent growth in net profit at Rs 3,356.8 crore for the third quarter of this fiscal.
Other prominent gainers were ONGC, Coal India, ICICI Bank, HDFC Ltd, Hindustan Unilever, Asian Paints, Dr Reddy’s, TCS, ITC Ltd, Bajaj Auto, Infosys and RIL.
Overall, 15 out of the 30-share Sensex pack advanced while others ended in the red.
The broader markets too showed a firm trend, with BSE small-cap index rising by 0.94 per cent and mid-cap 0.24 per cent as investors widened their bets.
Stock exchanges will remain closed tomorrow on account of the Republic Day.
Meanwhile, foreign portfolio investors net sold shares worth Rs 769.83 crore last Friday, as per provisional data.
Globally, the Shanghai Composite index closed 0.75 per cent higher and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng surged 1.36 per cent while Japan’s Nikkei ended up 0.90 per cent.
European markets, however, were also in the negative terrain in early session.