Shares of banking, auto, FMCG, metal, capital goods and IT sectors were in good demand from operators.
Foreign institutional investors (FIIs) bought shares worth a net Rs 206.46 crore yesterday, as per provisional data from the stock exchanges.
The Sensex resumed higher at 20,600.58 points and firmed up further to a high of 20,705.02 before quoting at 20,698.15 points at 1030 hours.
It showed a gain of 161.51 points or 0.79 per cent from its last close.
The NSE Nifty also up by 49.95 points, or 0.82 per cent, to 6,141.40 at 1030 hours.
Major gainers were - ICICI Bank (1.98 per cent), Axis Bank (1.92 per cent), * GAIL (1.58 per cent), Tata Steel 1.54 (per cent), Tata Motors (1.39 per cent), State Bank of India (1.36 per cent), HDFC Bank (1.30 per cent), ITC (1.19 per cent) and Larsen & Toubro (0.96 per
Asian stocks rose in their early trade today after a larger-than-forecast climb of US manufacturing in February tempered concern about global growth.
Key benchmark indices in Taiwan, Singapore, Japan, Hong Kong and South Korea were up by 0.44-2.02 per cent while China's Shanghai Composite fell 0.97 per cent.
US stocks rose yesterday on data showing that American factory activity accelerated in February at its fastest pace in nearly four years.