In volatile trade, the S&P BSE Sensex today advanced by 158 points -- the most in over three weeks -- on buying in metal, FMCG and healthcare stocks amid encouraging trade data and hopes of more steps by government to support the weak rupee.
Gains in Sensex were, however, capped after State Bank of India (SBI) shares slipped by over 3.4 per cent on dismal earnings.
The 30-share index, which had gained 124.46 points in the previous session, rose further by 157.64 points, or 0.84 per cent, to 18,946.98. Intra-day, it had touched 19,066.97. Today's gain was Sensex's best since 179.6 points on July 18.
Brokers said the market was in oversold zone following recent bearish phase and investors indulged in picking fundamentally strong stocks available at attractive levels.
The broad-based National Stock Exchange index NSE Nifty rose 46.75 points, or 0.84 per cent, to cross the key 5600-mark. It ended at 5,612.40, led by metal, FMCG and healthcare stocks.
SX40 index, the flagship index of Multi Commodity Exchange of India Ltd (MCX), closed at 11,258.94, up 105.09, or 0.94 per cent.
Exports grew by 11.64 per cent to USD 25.83 billion in July, snapping two consecutive months of decline. All eyes are now on Consumer Price Inflation (July) and IIP figures (June).
"New liquidity tightening measures announced by the RBI had a negative impact on the banking stocks. The downtrend in banking stocks was aggravated by the poor asset quality of SBI, which declared quarterly numbers," said Dipen Shah, Head- Private Client Group Research, Kotak Securities.
Analysts said expectations are high that the government and the RBI will come out with a raft of measures to support the rupee and instill confidence in the markets.
Sectorally, the BSE metal sector index