Mumbai, Jul 7 (PTI) Market gauges Sensex and Nifty extended gains for the fifth straight session on Tuesday, helped by intense buying in financial stocks as investors brushed aside surging domestic COVID-19 cases to focus on monsoon progress.
After swinging between gains and losses during the session, the BSE Sensex finally ended 187.24 points or 0.51 per cent higher at 36,674.52; while the NSE Nifty settled with 36 points or 0.33 per cent gains at 10,799.65 -- the longest winning streak for both gauges in a month.
On the Sensex chart, Bajaj Finance was the top gainer, rallying around 8 per cent, followed by IndusInd Bank, Bajaj Finserv, Infosys, ICICI Bank, Axis Bank and HCL Tech.
On the other hand, NTPC, ITC, PowerGrid, Tata Steel and ONGC were among the laggards.
Sectorally, BSE IT, bankex, finance, teck and auto indices ended up to 2.10 per cent higher; while oil and gas, utilities, metal, energy and telecom indices fell up to 2.42 per cent.
Broader midcap and smallcap indices rose up to 0.58 per cent.
'Bulls were in complete control as evident in the breadth of the market with financials leading the charge. A good monsoon also cheered a host of companies in auto parts and farm equipment as a feel good factor returned with more participation seen from Investors,' S Ranganathan, Head of Research at LKP Securities, said.
Analysts also attributed the Indian equities performance to easing tensions between India and China at Ladakh border.
The Chinese military on Monday began a limited pull-back from a number of friction points in eastern Ladakh, a day after NSA Ajit Doval and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi agreed on completing the ongoing disengagement process along the LAC 'expeditiously', government sources and officials said.
Investor sentiment was further boosted by other positive factors like sustained foreign fund inflows.
Foreign institutional investors were net buyers in the capital market on Monday, purchasing equities worth Rs 348.35 crore, provisional exchange data showed.
Though, experts cautioned that rising COVID-19 cases will continue to weigh on investors' risk appetite going ahead.
The number of cases around the world linked to the disease has crossed 1.16 crore and the death toll has topped 5.38 lakh.
In India, the number of infections spiked to 7,19,665 and the death toll rose to 20,160.
Bourses in Shanghai ended with marginal gains, while those in Hong Kong, Tokyo and Seoul closed in the red.
Stock exchanges in Europe were also trading on a negative note in early deals.
Meanwhile, international oil benchmark Brent crude futures fell 1.02 per cent to USD 42.66 per barrel.
On the currency front, the rupee extended losses and settled 25 paise lower at 74.93 against the US dollar. PTI ANS MKJ