Led by Infosys, RIL and ICICI Bank, shares rose for the third straight day on Thursday with Sensex gaining 94 points on hopes of speedier reforms after the Presidential polls amid a positive trend in global markets.
The BSE benchmark index, which had gained over 81 points in last two sessions, rose by 93.84 points, or 0.55%, to 17,278.85 as 22 scrips out of 30-share index gained. The day's best performers include Infosys, Sterlite, Tata Power, Bhel and Bajaj Auto that gained in 2-3% range.
RIL, ahead of its April-June earnings tomorrow, rose 1.7% while hopes of good numbers from ICICI Bank next week drove the scrip 1.3% higher.
Shares of Maruti Suzuki, which tanked nearly 9%, were a big drag on indices after its Manesar plant was shut down in relation to the violent incident last evening.
Bharti Airtel slumped 2.3% ahead of an Empowered Group of Ministers' meeting that may tomorrow decide on the reserve price of 2G spectrum in upcoming auction.
Traders said investors hope government would accelerate reforms after Presidential elections for which polling begun today. Results will be announced on July 22.
"Markets traded in compact range for most part of the day as if waiting for a trigger for market direction...FIIs continue to be net buyers in July," said Nidhi Saraswat, Senior Research Analyst, Bonanza Portfolio.
The total market breadth remained favourable as 1,514 stocks ended higher while 1,299 scrips closed with losses.
The 50-share National Stock Exchange index Nifty rose by 26.40 points, or 0.51%, to 5,242.70.
Traders said the domestic market also tracked a firming trend as global stocks rose on speculation China will announce specific measures to boost growth.
European shares hit 11-week high as quarterly results from Novartis and Sandvik lifted sentiment while gains in Asian markets were led by Hong Kong, Taiwan and Japan.