Mumbai, Aug 18 (PTI) Equity benchmarks marched higher for the second straight day on Tuesday following robust buying in market heavyweights Reliance Industries, HDFC Bank and ICICI Bank amid a mixed trend in overseas bourses.
The 30-share BSE Sensex, which opened on a firm footing, gained further momentum in late-afternoon trade to finish at 38,528.32, up 477.54 points or 1.26 per cent.
Similarly, the broader NSE Nifty surged 138.25 points or 1.23 per cent to end at 11,385.35.
This is the highest closing for both the indices in over five months.
UltraTech Cement was the top gainer in the Sensex pack, spurting 3.34 per cent, followed by Kotak Bank, ICICI Bank, Tata Steel, HDFC Bank and Asian Paints.
Reliance Industries and HDFC Bank accounted for most of the index's gains.
On the other hand, Tech Mahindra, HCL Tech, Bajaj Auto and Power Grid were among the laggards, dropping up to 1.10 per cent.
'Indian benchmark indices kept gaining strength during the course of the day, as opposed to mixed global market cues. US-China political tensions and the uncertainties over the US stimulus package kept global markets on edge.
'In India, investors took comfort in the expectation of government spending to offset the impact of the lockdown and the progress of the monsoon and its relation to the rural economy also improved sentiments...With liquidity and expectations overcoming concerns about valuations, any consolidation in the markets have been bought into and this trend is expected to continue,' said Vinod Nair, Head of Research at Geojit Financial Services.
BSE realty, bankex, basic materials, finance, consumer durables and metal indices surged as much as 4.19 per cent, while utilities and healthcare indices fell up to 0.19 per cent.
Broader BSE mid-cap and small-cap indices rallied up to 1.30 per cent.
Global markets were mixed amid escalating US-China tensions and delay in another US stimulus package.
The US administration on Monday said it would further tighten restrictions on China's Huawei Technologies, disrupting its global supply chain.
Bourses in Shanghai and Hong Kong ended on a positive note, while Tokyo and Seoul were in the red.
Stock exchanges in Europe were trading with significant gains in early deals.
Global oil benchmark Brent crude was trading 0.37 per cent lower at USD 45.20 per barrel.
In the forex market, the rupee settled 12 paise higher at 74.76 against the US dollar. PTI ANS ABM ANS ABM ABM