The winning run for markets continued for the sixth straight session, with the BSE Sensex reversing all its losses to close about 135 points higher at 24,793.96 — a 5-week high — on continued expectations that RBI would bring down the policy rate.
Some fag-end buying saved the day as Nifty reclaimed the 7,500-level.
Most Asian markets remained weak, taking cues from overnight losses in the US following lacklustre Chinese trade data and retreat in crude prices.
The 30-share Sensex opened lower, but across-the-board buying towards the late session, backed up by a higher opening in Europe, meant that the index recovered and ended the day higher by 134.73 points, or 0.55 per cent, at 24,793.96 — its highest closing in five weeks.
It had ended at 24,824.83 on February 1, 2016.
The benchmark had gained 1,657.23 points in the previous five sessions in a row.
The 50-issue NSE Nifty went past the crucial 7,500-mark and closed higher by 46.50 points, or 0.62 per cent, at 7,531.80. Intra-day, it hovered between 7,424.30 and 7,539.
Brokers said the ongoing bull run has come mostly on hopes of a likely rate cut by the Reserve Bank after the government retained its deficit target for the next fiscal at 3.5 per cent of GDP in Budget 2016-17.
Revival of buying by foreign funds gave sentiment a lift too.
Maruti Suzuki was the toast of town as it surged 4 per cent to Rs 3,600 after the carmaker launched its much-awaited compact SUV model ‘Vitara Brezza’.
Others that supported the uptrend include L&T, ONGC, Hindustan Unilever, BHEL, RIL, Axis Bank and Infosys.
In the Sensex-30 kitty, 20 ended higher, while 10 including HDFC, Coal India NTPC and Adani Ports, lost due to profit-booking.
Foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) bought shares worth a net Rs 775.07 crore yesterday, as per provisional data.
The BSE capital goods covered the maximum ground by surging 1.63 per cent, followed by realty 1.51 per cent. Power index rose 1.42 per cent while auto went up 1.25 per cent.
The broader markets too were in a better form, in line with the overall trend. The mid-cap index rose 0.94 per cent while small-cap gained 0.04 per cent.
Other Asian markets closed in the red after disappointing Chinese trade data rekindled fears about global growth. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng ended 0.08 per cent lower while Shanghai Composite closed 1.34 per cent lower. Japan’s Nikkei too shed 0.84 per cent.
European markets rebounded after two days of decline as investors speculated on further stimulus support from the European Central Bank.