The 30-share Sensex closed at over two-week high of 26,103.23, a gain of 184.28 points, or 0.71 per cent from previous close. The barometer opened higher at 25,948.30 and shot up further to a high of 26,135.00 after WPI-based inflation dipped to a five-month low of 5.19 per cent in July.
In the four sessions, the index gained over 774 points and reclaimed the 26,000-mark for the first time since July 30.
The NSE 50-share Nifty firmed up by 52.15 points, or 0.67 per cent, to finish at 7,791.70 after touching the day's high of 7,796.70.
Stocks of state-owned Oil & Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) ended 2.03 higher after company yesterday posted 19 per cent rise in net profit for the April-June quarter.
Shares of Tata Steel in two-way movements, gained 1.23 per cent despite company's consolidated net profit plunged by 70.38 per cent to Rs 337.33 crore in the April-June quarter.
Brokers said besides encouraging earnings by several blue-chip companies, foreign capital inflows on continued optimism on long term growth prospects of the economy buoyed sentiments.
Major gainers were GAIL India, ITC, Larsen & Toubro, Sesa Sterlite, Cipla, Sun Pharma, Reliance Industries, NTPC, Maruti Suzuki, Mahindra and Mahindra, ICICI Bank, Axis Bank, HDFC Bank, BHEL, Tata Motors and Tata Power.
Shares of Lanco Infratech and Adani Power gained up to 5.05 per cent following a mega deal for a power plant between the two companies.
As many as 22 Sensex constituents ended in the green while 8 ended down.
Meanwhile, Foreign Portfolio Investors (FPIs) bought shares worth a net Rs 718.27 crore yesterday, as per provisional data from the stock exchange.
The stock exchanges will remain closed tomorrow on account of 'Independence Day'.
Sensex gains 184 pts to close at 2-week high
(Reuters) Indian shares rose on Thursday to their highest close in nearly two-and-a-half weeks as blue-chips such as ICICI Bank Ltd gained, tracking higher Asian stocks as soft economic data globally kept up hopes of continued stimulus from central banks.
India's broader NSE index was just 0.6 percent shy of the record high of 7,840.95 hit on July 25.
An economic contraction in Japan, a shock fall in Chinese loans, a surprisingly dovish turn by the Bank of England and a sluggish reading on U.S. retail sales all combined to make any tightening in policy seem a distant prospect.
Also, India's wholesale price inflation eased to a five-month low in July, helped by a moderation in fuel costs.
Foreign investors, largely responsible for shares hitting record highs late last month, bought stocks worth 7.18 billion rupees ($117.6 million) on Wednesday, boosting sentiment, according to provisional exchange data.
Markets are closed on Friday for the Independence Day holiday but traders would be looking forward to newly elected Prime Minister Narendra Modi's speech for clues to his reform plans for the world's largest democracy.
"The market needs commitment and I think Modi will deliver that in the key areas of infrastructure and capex revival," said Deven Choksey, managing director at K R Choksey Securities.
The benchmark BSE index rose 0.71 percent, or 184.28 points, to end at 26,103.23, its highest close since July 25 when it hit a record high of 26,300.17.
The broader NSE index rose 0.67 percent, or 52.15 points, to end at 7,791.70, marking its highest close since July 24. Both the NSE index and the BSE indexes added around 3 percent for the week, also their first gains in three.
Blue-chips led the gainers with ICICI Bank up 1.9 percent, while engineering company Larsen & Toubro finishing 2.1 percent higher.
Tata Motors rose 2.3 percent, while Sesa Sterlite ended 2.8 percent higher.
Upbeat earnings also helped some companies. Oil and Natural Gas Corp gained 2 percent after April-June operating earnings beat estimates.
Voltas Ltd surged 8.8 percent after quarterly results came in above market expectations.
Lanco Infratech gained 4.7 percent, while Adani Power Ltd rose 3 percent after Lanco said on Wednesday it had sold a power plant to Adani for $327 mln to cut debt.
BEML Ltd bucked the trend, falling by its daily limit of 5 percent for the second consecutive session after April-June net loss widened from a year earlier.
FACTORS TO WATCH
* Euro stuck near 9-month low after dismal euro zone data
* Brent falls below $104 after brief recovery
* Shares rally as investors bank on stimulus
* Foreign institutional investor flows