Buying activity influenced by a firm global trend helped India's stock market bellwether Sensex to once again break the 12,000-points barrier, but it eased marginally to finish at 11,973.02, still up by 79.23 points.
The index, which had last seen this level on May 18, touched an intra-day high of 12,003.68.
Dealers attributed the bullish fervour to firm global advices and renewed buying by foreign funds.
The rally was once again led by banking counters on expectations of a pause in interest rates hike on the back of fall crude oil prices.
Apart from index-heavyweight, RIL, shares from IT, metal, cement and fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) segments also found good support and ended with sharp to moderate gains, helping the sensex to complete three-day winning streak.
The 30-share index opened firm at 11,936.80 as against yesterday's close of 11,893.79 and after moving in a range of 12,003.68 and 11,892.24, concluded at 11,973.02, a sharp rise of 0.67 per cent.
On the National Stock Exchange (NSE), the S&P CNX rose by 17.05 points or 0.49 per cent to 3,471.60 from previous close of 3,454.55.
Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs) reportedly pumped in Rs 682.50 crore on Wednesday in derivatives after heavy pull-out in the last six sessions while injecting worth Rs 265.35 crore in cash on the same day as per provisional data.
Local mutual funds also purchased shares worth Rs 112.47 crore on Tuesday, brokers said.
Petro-chem giant and among the top heavyweights, RIL, attracted heavy buying by institutional investors on reports that the company is planning to buy land in Brazil to set up a global scale ethanol facility, brokers said.
Out of total 2,563 traded scrips, losers outnumbered gainers by 1,367 and 1,131 margin. 178 stocks ended in upper price band while 121 others stuck in lower circuit at close.
The trading volume improved further to Rs 4,068.85 crore from Rs 3,999.46 crore on Wednesday. Satyam Computer clocked the highest turnover of Rs 742.05 crore followed by RIL (Rs 142.74 crore), Reliance Capital (Rs 137.56 crore), India Bulls (Rs 136.62 crore) and ICICI Bank (Rs 133.81 crore).
The broad-based BSE-100 Index spurted improved further by 3.71 points to 6,098.57 from previous close of 6,060.86.
The BSE-200 Index and the Dollex-200 were quoted higher at 1,440.90 and 519.76 at close compared to last close of 1,431.82 and 515.81 respectively. The BSE-500 Index rose by another 28.47 points to 4,569.04 from 4,540.57 and the Dollex-30 ended up at 2,129.74 from 2,112.90 previously.
ICICI Bank flared up by 19.75 o 650.60, SBI by 7.10 to 976.50, RIL by 9.60 to 1125.95, Infosys Tech by 19.3 to 1829.35, Satyam Computer by 7.40 to 810.15, TCS by 14.80 to 1012.20, HLL by 3.35 to 239.00, Grasim by 64.65 to 2391.80, ACC by 13.10 to 944.45, GACL by 2.00 to 115.05, Bajaj Auto by 47.15 to 2824.55, Dr Reddy by 10.45 to 747.75, L&T by 17.50 to 2539.10 and Tata Steel by 605 to 507.90.
However, Maruti declined by 6.95 to 949, Tata Motors by 5.15 to 864.70, Hero Honda by 12.80 to 765.85, HDFC by 15.70 to 1336.60, HDFC Bank by 9.80 to 864, Bharti Airtel by 4.40 to 438.65 and NTPC by 1.1 to 128.30.