Mumbai: The benchmark Sensex gained for the third day and moved up by a moderate 40 points on Tuesday amid buying in select counters on the back of foreign capital inflows and mixed global cues.
The index was at an almost two-week high, buoyed by gains in Infosys, State Bank of India and Larsen & Toubro shares.
Realty and capital goods stocks firmed up while consumer durable, FMCG and healthcare sector shares fell. Appreciation of the rupee against the dollar also boosted market sentiment, a broker said.
The S&P BSE Sensex resumed higher at 20,870.16 and hovered in a range of 20,828.69 to 20,934.40 before ending at 20,890.82, a gain of 40.08 points or 0.19 per cent.
That was the highest level since November 6. The CNX Nifty on the National Stock Exchange moved up 14.35 points, or 0.23 per cent, to 6,203.35. The SX-40 on the MCX Stock Exchange closed 34.80 points up at 12,401.4.
Foreign institutional investors bought a net Rs 1,158.57 crore of shares on Monday, according to provisional data from the stock exchanges.
"Hopefully we can convince FIIs that our reform plans, those announced and upcoming, are good reasons to continue investing in India," said Shrinivas Viswanath, Co-founder of RKSV.
"Experts agree that the economy has bottomed out. The worst may be put behind us after the RBI has taken steps to bring in liquidity and the government announced reforms."
The rupee breached 62 against the dollar and firmed up to 61.88 per dollar. It quoted at 62.09 in late afternoon trade. The dollar weakened against major rivals ahead of US Federal Reserve chief Ben Bernanke's speech later today.
Analysts expect Bernanke to speak in favour of retaining the USD 85 billion a month stimulus programme. The minutes of the Federal Open Market Committee meeting October are expected to be released on Wednesday.
Asian markets ended mixed after hefty gains in the previous session on China's economic reform plans. Key indices in China, Hong Kong, Singapore and Japan declined while indices in South Korea and Taiwan moved up.
European stocks were lower, with investors awaiting the latest indicator of German investment sentiment. Key indices in the UK, Germany and France fell. In the US, the Standard & Poor's 500 and Nasdaq Composite index ended lower.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average failed to close above 16,000 amid a late sell off. In the domestic market, 14 of the 30 Sensex shares advanced, led by Jindal Steel (4.37 pc), Hindalco Industries (4.25 pc), Maruti Suzuki (3.28 pc), SBI (3.18 pc) and Bharti Airtel (1.94 pc). Tata Power ruled steady.
Sesa Sterlite dropped 1.88 pc followed by HDFC Bank 1.29 pc and Coal India 1.2 pc. Among the S&P BSE sectoral indices, Realty rose 1.51 per cent and Capital Goods by 1.28 per cent. Consumer Durables fell 0.69 per cent and FMCG dropped 0.45 per cent.
The market breadth remained positive as 1,286 stocks gained, 1,218 fell and 154 ruled steady. Total turnover fell to Rs 1,963.34 crore from Rs 2,037.12 crore on Monday.
Meanwhile, the rupee failed to sustain gains after breaching the 62 level against the dollar but still managed to end five paise higher at 62.36 as banks and exporters sold the US currency amid foreign capital inflows into the equity market.
Weakness in the dollar overseas also boosted the rupee, a forex dealer said. The rupee resumed higher at 62.20 per dollar from the previous close of 62.41 at the interbank foreign exchange market and rose to 61.87 per dollar.
The initial gains were trimmed on fag-end dollar demand from banks and importers and the local currency ended at 62.36 per dollar, a gain of five paise or 0.08 per cent.
The rupee has moved up 135 paise in the past four sessions. In the global market, the dollar pared losses against other major currencies yesterday as investors considered when the Federal Reserve would start scaling back its bond-buying programme.
Analysts expect Federal Reserve chief Ben Bernanke to favour retaining the USD 85 billion a month stimulus programme at a speech later today.
The minutes of the Federal Open Market Committee meeting in October are expected to be released on Wednesday. "Rupee was seen surpassing another key level of 62 against the US dollar today on the back of consistent speculation that the Fed will continue its ongoing quantitative easing," said Abhishek Goenka, CEO of India Forex Advisors.
The 30-share benchmark Sensex continued its firm trend for the third day and ended 40.08 points higher at 20,890.82.