Solid gains in Bharti Airtel, ICICI Bank and HDFC shares helped the benchmark Sensex today log its first rise in three sessions and end about 96 points higher to reclaim the 26K level despite sharp losses suffered by L&T.
The BSE barometer recovered from initial hesitancy on buying in banking and auto counters while short-covering activity ahead of expiry of July equity derivative contracts tomorrow also aided the sentiment at fag-end, brokers said.
ITC, ONGC, Dr Reddy's Lab and Hindalco also notched good gains and supported the Sensex rise.
The 30-share barometer resumed lower and dipped to a low of 25,850.04 -- its lowest since July 22 -- to trade over 140 points lower. Later, it bounced back and finished at 26,087.42, registering a net rise of 96.19 points or 0.37 %. The Sensex had plunged by over 280 points, or 1.07 %, in the previous two trading sessions.
The 50-issue Nifty of the NSE also recovered by 42.70 points, or 0.55 %, to close at 7,791.40. It had lost about 82 points in the previous two sessions.
Jignesh Chaudhary, Head of Research, Veracity Broking Services said: "Local equities closed positively with the help of some bluechip companies. Positive sentiments in the market has boosted the confidence of investors. FII buying in the local shares also helped."
Construction and engineering giant Larsen and Toubro (L&T) tumbled by 7.32 points on weak Q1 earnings.
However, Bharti Airtel, the top gainer from the Sensex and Nifty, helped lift the indices with over 5 % gain on excellent Q1 results.
Earnings related buying was also seen in shares of ITC Ltd and Dr Reddys Lab. Overall in the 30-Sensex pack, 23 ended higher and 7 finished in negative zone.
A firming trend in Asian markets before the US Federal Reserve's update on monetary policy today and a higher opening in European markets also impacted the domestic shares positively, brokers said.