The BSE benchmark Sensex on Tuesday rose 46 points to 21,251.12 to end the day higher for the second day in succession on buying in banking, auto and metal shares in view of sustained foreign capital inflows and positive global cues.
Interest rate sensitive banking and auto scrips gained on the hope that the Reserve Bank of India will cut key rates in its monetary policy meeting on January 28 following retail and headline inflation softening.
Metal stocks Hindustan Zinc and Sesa Sterlite hit 52-week high after Commerce Minister and Industry Anand Sharma said yesterday that Union Cabinet approved selling government's residual stake in Hindustan Zinc.
The Sensex moved in a narrow range between 21,302.52 and 21,189.20 before ending at 21,251.12, a gain of 46.07 points from its previous close.
Yesterday, it had gained 141.43 points.
The NSE 50-share Nifty rose 9.85 points to 6,313.80. As per provisional data from stock exchanges, FIIs bought shares worth a net Rs 384.89 crore yesterday.
Major Sensex gainers were ICICI Bank at 3.32 %, Tata Motors 2.68 %, Tata Steel 2.39 %, Axis Bank 2.37 %, Sesa Sterlite 1.56 %. Maruti Suzuki was up 1.40 %, Larsen 1.13 %, SBI 1.07 %, HDFC Bank 1.03 %. TCS dropped by 2.46 %, Coal India 2.45 % BHEL 1.90 %, Gail India 1.59 %, Sun Pharma 1.43 % and Bharti Airtel 1.21 %.
Jignesh Chaudhary, Head Of Research, Veracity Broking Services said: "Indian equity markets traded range bound for the better part of the day. There were some negative rallies seen in IT stocks, which put pressure on markets...."
"In the absence of fresh triggers to guide the movement on the either sides, markets are relying on the results declared by the corporate to gauge the direction. Rallies in the bank, auto and metal stocks helped the markets to end on a positive note."
Fifteen scrips of 30-share Sensex pack ended higher, while the other 15 finished lower.
The market breadth continued to remain positive as 1,376 stocks rose, 1,247 declined and 160 ruled steady. Total turnover moved up to Rs 1,888.43 crore from Rs 1,831.60 crore yesterday.
Amomg sectoral indices, BSE Bankex rose by 1.55. followed by auto 1.03 %. IT index eased 0.68 pet cent.
In Asia, indices in China, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore and South Korea firmed up by 0.16-0.99 % as China's money market rates dropped after the Central Bank pumped funds into the financial system.
European markets were also trading higher as indices in France, Germany and the UK moved up by 0.01-0.25 %.