The stock markets extended their gains for the second straight day on Thursday with bellwether Sensex closing the day higher by over 68 points in volatile trade.
The 30-share index of the Bombay Stock Exchange ended the day at 14,355.75, a gain of 68.54 points, 0.48 per cent, over its previous close.
The BSE barometer witnessed irregular movements in a range of 14,369.59 and 14,161.76 points as investors either rolled over or squared off their positions at the end of July contract of the Futures & Options segment.
The 50-share Nifty of the National Stock Exchange also improved by 19.40 points, or 0.45 per cent, to close at 4,332.95 from its last close.
Market participants said there was some short-covering at the fag end of the day helping the market to recover its mid-afternoon losses.
They said the market discounted concerns over inflation, which is expected to cross the 12 per cent mark, and a rise in global crude oil prices to above USD 126 a barrel.
The country's largest private sector company Reliance Industries, which has the highest weightage in the Sensex, gained 1.99 per cent while other blue-chips SBI jumped 2.03 per cent, Tata Steel 3.95 per cent and DLF 3.79 per cent, helping market to close in positive territory.
Health-care and IT shares, however, registered losses on selling pressure.
Asian and European markets, however, were narrowly mixed during the day.
Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs) continued their selling spree and they offloaded shares worth Rs 1879.80 crore in last four sessions since July 25.
Among the Sensex gainers were Tata power at 4.00 per cent, Sterlite Ind 1.50 per cent, M&M 1.37 per cent Ranbaxy Lab 1.29 per cent.
Tata Motors at 3.13 per cent, Grasim 2.78 per cent, Maruti 2.36 per cent, Wipro 1.53 per cent, Bharti Airtel 1.33 per cent and Infosys Tech 1.20 per cent were the prominent losers.
On BSE, market breadth was slightly weak as 1,296 counters ended with gains while 1,326 finished with losses.
The trading volume was relatively low at Rs 5,091.04 crore from Rs 5,353.98 crore on Wednesday. RNRL remaied the top traded share with the highest turnover of Rs 370.35 crore followed by Reliance Capital (Rs 344.42 crore), RIL (Rs 182.77 crore), Tata Steel (Rs 163.03 crore) and SEL Manufacturing (Rs 151.19 crore).
From sectorial indices, the BSE-Metal flared up by 213.91 points or 1.68 per cent to 12,912.61 and the BSE-Oil&Gas by 121.74 points or 1.27 per cent to 9,729.48 while BSE-HC dropped by 45.88 points or 1.09 per cent to 4,162.03 and the BSE-IT by 32.52 points or 0.87 per cent to 3,689.57.
The broad-based BSE-100 Index improved further by 23.69 points or 0.32 per cent to 7,488.48 from previous close of 7,464.79.
The BSE-200 Index and the Dollex-200 ended hardly changed at 1,749.11 and 684.71 from 1,745.01 and 684.47 respectively.