The benchmark Sensex on Wednesday rose 85.12 points, logging its best gain in three weeks, to end at 20,448.49 buoyed by jump in bluechips like ICICI Bank, RIL and L&T ahead of industrial output and retail inflation data.
After gaining 29.10 points in the previous session, the Sensex advanced for the second day. Intra-day, it traded in a narrow range of 20,427.23 and 20,516.60. Wednesday's gain was the highest since the 86.55-point increase on January 22, 2014.
ICICI Bank (3.11 per cent), GAIL (2.57 per cent) and ONGC (2.50 per cent) led the 17 gainers in 30-share BSE index. RIL rose 1.48 per cent after shedding about two per cent yesterday after Delhi government said police complaints would be filed against RIL, its Chairman Mukesh Ambani and Oil Minister Veerappa Moily for creating an artificial shortage of gas in the country and raising prices. Capital goods scrips, including L&T, also saw buying.
The 50-share NSE Nifty rose 21.30 points, or 0.35 per cent, to end at 6,084. Intra-day, it hit a high of 6,106.60. Brokers said the investors picked fundamentally strong stocks before the release of consumer-price inflation and industrial production data later on Wednesday.
Tata Steel, ITC and Maruti Suzuki were among biggest laggards in the bluechip space. Some midcap and smallcaps faced volatility linked to railway budget, said traders. "Shares of companies related to Rail budget, were seen losing from 2-7 percent, due to lack of major expected announcements. Kernex, Kalindee, Stone India were some of the stocks impacted," said Rakesh Goyal, Senior Vice President, Bonanza Portfolio.
Sectorally, the BSE Capital Goods sector index gained the most by rising 1.51 per cent, followed by oil and gas index 1.27 per cent, Banking index 0.95 per cent and IT index 0.24 per cent, among others.