The stock market remained lacklustre trade for the most part today but buying in the fag end in consumer durables, capital goods and power stocks lifted Sensex 75 points higher to 17,633.45 -- the highest closing since March 15 -- ahead of July inflation numbers tomorrow.
After opening lower in morning, the BSE benchmark index continued to trade listless in first half and touched day's low of 17,522.10 points amid global stocks being range-bound.
However, emergence of buying activity and capital inflows in the closing stages of trading lifted the index to 17,642.38 points. It finally settled at 17,633.45, up 75.71 points or 0.43 per cent over previous close. This is the highest closing for the index since March 15 when it closed at 17,675.85.
Housing loan provider, HDFC, was the top gainer from the Sensex pack with a rise of 3.71 per cent on heavy buying from institutional investors.
HDFC Bank, RIL, L&T, Bharti Airtel and Sterlite Industries also registered smart gains while HUL, Tata Motors, TCS, ICICI Bank and ITC suffered losses.
The 50-share NSE index Nifty rose by 27.50, or 0.52 per cent to 5,347.90.
"Markets, in general, are expecting the government to formulate and implement key reforms which shall give boost to the economy," said Nidhi Sarswat, Senior Research Analyst, Bonanza Portfolio. The Sensex had lost 44 points in last three sessions as cautious sentiment prevailed.
Reports that government could resume privatisation plan by selling stakes in Bhel and Sail also cheered investors, said Milan Bavishi, Head-Research, Inventure Growth & Securities.
12 out of 13 sectoral indices closed higher today while only BSE-Auto index ended lower.
Brokers said the sentiment also improved following market regulator SEBI's plans to announce wide-ranging reforms in the mutual fund and the IPO space.
Barring Singapore, other Asian markets ended lower. Key benchmark indices in Hong Kong, China and Taiwan were down by 0.06 per cent to 1.51 per cent, while Straits Times closed up by 0.35 per cent.
European markets were also trading mixed in their afternoon deals. France's CAC was trading up by 0.06 per cent and Germany's DAX was up 0.37 per cent. The UK's FTSE was down by 0.04 per cent.
Back home, other Sensex major gainers were Serlite (2.66 pc), Maruti Suzuki (1.95 pc), Bajaj Auto (1.68 pc), BHEL (1.66 pc), Bharti Airtel (1.64 pc), Wipro (1.60 pc), L&T (0.98 pc) Sun Pharma (0.95 pc) and SBI (0.94 pc).
However, Tata Motors declined by 1.55 per cent, followed by