Shrugging of initial losses, the stock markets on Thursday continued their upward march as the Bombay Stock Exchange benchmark Sensex garnered another 69 points on selective buying.
Metal counters attracted heavy buying support as some of the steel companies hiked their product prices and firm London Metal Exchange (LME) advices further boosted the sentiment.
Banking stocks also attracted renewed buying support. Many market players preferred to sit on the fence and decided to play safe ahead of a long weekend as stock markets will remain closed on Friday, April 6, on account of "Good Friday", dealers said.
Shares from Sensex family like SBI, ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank, HDFC, Tata Motors, Maruti, Grasim, ACC, Tata Steel and REL notched handsome gains at close, contributing to the rise immensely, they added.
The BSE 30-share sensitive index (Sensex) fluctuated in a range of 12,899.31 and 12,711.50 points before ending the day at 12,856.08, a net rise of 69.31 points or 0.54 per cent over Wednesday's close of 12,786.77.
The wide-based S&P CNX Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) also improved further by 18.75 points or 0.50 per cent to 3,752.00 from previous close of 3,733.25.
Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs) continued to be net sellers and they reportedly sold shares worth Rs 688.45 crore in cash segment during the first three sessions including provisional figure of 45.05 crore on April four.
Domestic Mutual Funds too pulled out Rs 105 crore on April 3.