The BSE benchmark Sensex on Tuesday ended 154 points higher in the first session of 2013 led by rally in realty and metal stocks on increased buying activity after the US averted the looming fiscal cliff.
The 30-stock index rose 154.10 points, or 0.79%, to 19,580.81. The index touched an intra-day high of 19,623.76, a highest level since April 2011 on the back of strong gains in heavyweights.
The broad-based National Stock Exchange index Nifty, which swung between 5,963.90 and 5,935.20, settled with a gain of 45.75 points, or 0.77%, at 5,950.85.
Most of the Asian markets remained closed for a public holiday and did not offer any firm cues to investors, but a lower openings in Europe, capped the gains on the domestic bourses. Although volume remained thin as foreign funds remained off the market.
Brokers said sentiments turned bullish, particularly in realty metal and banking sector stocks, after US lawmakers reached an agreement to avoid fiscal cliff of wide-reaching tax hikes and deep spending cuts in the world's biggest economy.
"Retail investors accumulated stocks of metal and interest-sensitive financial sector stocks", said Manoj Choraria, a Delhi-based stock broker.
Besides, expectations of a rate cut by the Reserve Bank of India later this month, triggered buying activity, they said.
Of the 30 scrips in the BSE Sensex, 27 gained and three declined.
The BSE realty sector index gained the most by rising 2.74% to 2,168.74 points with stocks of Oberoi Realty gaining 5.10% to Rs. 305, DLF Ltd by 2.06% to Rs. 235.25, Unitech Ltd by 3.71 per cent to Rs. 34.90, Prestige Estate by 3.88 per cent to Rs. 186.10 and HDIL by 3.10% to Rs. 114.90.
The BSE metal remained second best performer among sectoral indices, by rising 2.13% to 11,306.57 points as Hindalco gained 2.72% to Rs. 134.15, Sterlite Industries by 1.89% to Rs. 118.85 and Tata Steel by 2.33% to Rs. 438.30.