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Domestic benchmark indices Sensex and Nifty today rose for the fourth straight day and ended at nearly one-month high levels, helped by smart gains in IT and pharma shares amid persistent foreign capital inflows.
Small-cap and mid-cap shares also saw good demand from retail investors, traders said.
The BSE Sensex resumed slightly higher but frittered away initial gains. However, helped by late buying the index hit 20,750.52, before ending at 20,722.97, a rise of 88.76 points or 0.43 per cent. This is its best closing since 21,133.56 on January 24. In four days, the Sensex has gained 530 points.
Sun Pharma and Infosys led the 16 Sensex gainers. Tata Power and Sesa Sterlite were among the 13 laggards while Tata Motors closed unchanged in the 30-share Sensex.
"The announcements made in the Interim budget, along with easing inflation, has boosted market sentiment. Also, value buying is seen from lower levels," said Nidhi Saraswat, Senior Research Analyst, Bonanza Portfolio.
The NSE 50-share Nifty firmed up 25.65 points, or 0.42 per cent, to end at 6,152.75 -- its strongest close since 6,266.75 on January 24. In four sessions, it is up 152 points.
Foreign Institutional Investors bought shares worth a net Rs 292.23 crore yesterday as per provisional data from bourses. This data also aided sentiments, traders said.
Sugar stocks, including Bajaj Hindusthan and Balrampur Chini, saw good demand on buzz that prices have risen.
Ranbaxy jumped over 3 per cent on reports the Indian drug maker and Teva settled claims in the US over collusion.
The BSE Small-cap index and BSE Mid-cap index moved up by 0.66 per cent and 0.50 per cent respectively.
Positive cues from overnight gains in US stocks and trends from Asia were also factors that helped Indian stocks.
Benchmark indices in China, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore and Taiwan ended higher between 0.24 per cent to 1.11 per cent while barometers in Japan and South Korea finished lower.
European stocks were trading narrowly mixed in early trades as indices in France and the UK inched up while Germany's DAX eased 0.18 per cent.
Asian stocks saw some volatility on reports that China's overnight money-market rate dropped to a nine-month