The benchmark BSE Sensex on Thursday notched up its sixth rise in last seven sessions, gaining over 75 points to close at a fresh two-week high of 28,298.13, on foreign fund inflows and sustained buying by retail investors.
The gains were led by capital goods, healthcare and consumer durables as the global trend remained mixed. Markets got a boost on above-estimate earnings numbers from blue-chips.
Sentiment perked up after it became clear that EPFO could invest more in equities next fiscal by raising the current limit of 5% of total investible assets.
In an otherwise volatile trade, the benchmark index resumed better, but dropped for a while as profit-booking kicked in. But it quickly bounced back to hit a high of 28,359.96 and settled the day at 28,298.13 -- a gain of 75.05 points, or 0.27%.
The gauge had gained 151.15 points in yesterday's trade. The 50-share NSE Nifty after reclaiming the 8,600-mark ended up 20.70 points, or 0.24%, at 8,588.65.
There has been a definite streak of bullishness mostly because foreign funds and retail investors are ramping up their bets since the beginning of the August derivatives series, brokers said. Of the 30-share Sensex pack, 18 ended with gains while 12 finished lower.
Among pharma stocks, Dr Reddy's climbed 1.79% to close at Rs 4,270.10 after hitting an all-time high of Rs 4,325 after the company signed a marketing pact with US-based biotechnology firm Amgen to market its three drugs.
Other drugmakers such as Lupin jumped 1.37%, Sun Pharma 0.64% and Cipla 0.51%. Globally, a mixed closing at other Asian markets and a lower opening in Europe influenced sentiment. Other Sensex gainers included L&T, Tata Motors, TCS, SBI, M&M and Axis Bank.
However, shares of Nestle India tanked 5.03% after food safety watchdog FSSAI said it has not given any clean chit to the banned Maggi noodles as it rubbished all-clear reports from two of its empaneled labs, citing lapses in tests.
Sectorally, the BSE consumer durables index gained the most by rising 1.91%, followed by capital goods, healthcare, auto and banking.
Meanwhile, foreign investors net bought shares worth Rs 447.90 crore on Wednesday, as per provisional data.