The benchmark BSE Sensex on Wednesday breached the 21,000-mark after a month, but settled the day a tad lower at 20,986.99, a gain of 135 points, amid mixed trends from global markets.
India's largest gas distributor GAIL rose 2.97 % to end the day as the biggest Sensex gainer. Cigarette major ITC recorded a smart gain of 2.07 %.
IT stocks continued its winning streak for the second day. Wipro rose 1.38 % to trade at its 52-week high level. Infosys was up 0.56 %.
Brokers attributed the rally to short coverings by operators because February series of Futures and Options was expiring today.
"IT stocks continued to see buying interest, with Wipro making its 52-week high level. FIIs continued to show optimism in the Indian stock market and were net buyers, particularly for last two weeks, and this also boosted market sentiment," said Rakesh Goyal, Senior Vice President, Bonanza Portfolio.
Foreign institutional investors (FIIs) bought shares worth a net Rs 423.41 crore yesterday, as per provisional data from stock exchanges.
The 30-share barometer resumed the day stable. It touched intra-day high of 21,005.04 but lost a little momentum and end at 20,986.99, a rise of 134.52 points from its last close.
In straight four sessions, Sensex has surged by 450.35 points or 2.19 %.
The previous time the key index breached 21,000-level was on January 24, 2014, when it closed the day at 21,333 points The 50-issue Nifty on NSE also improved further by 38.75 points to 6,238.80.
Other major Sensex gainers were M&M 2.00 %, Dr Reddy's Lab 1.77 %, BHEL 1.63 %, Sun Pharma 1.33 %, Hero Motocorp 1.25 %, Bajaj Auto 1.09 %.
Tata Steel plunged 3.23 %, SSLT 2.62 %, Tata Power 1.85 % and Coal India 1.12 %.
Markets traded range-bound for the better part of the day and were a bit cautious with thin volumes as the February series of F&O expired today, said Jignesh Chaudhary, Head Of Research, Veracity Broking Services.
"There were some positive rallies seen in consumer durables, power, banks and healthcare stock, which helped the Sensex to trade in the green zone. Moreover a positive buying spree form the FII community also helped keep up the positive momentum," he added.
Overall, 10 out of 12 sectoral indices closed in the green. Of 30 sensex-based scrips, 22 finished with gains.
Among sectoral indices, FMCG rose by 0.99 %, consumer goods 0.94 %, auto 0.86 %, healthcare 0.82 % and Bankex 0.56 %.
Market breadth turned positive as 1,357 ended higher, while 1,339 finished lower and 145 ruled steady.
Asian stocks ended mixed between gains and losses as energy shares advanced, countering decline in raw material producers. Key benchmark indices in China, Hong Kong, South Korea and Taiwan rose by 0.29-0.54 %. Indices in Singapore and Japan fell by 0.50-0.54 %.
European stocks were trading lower. Key indices in France, Germany and UK eased by 0.18-0.37 %.