Rising for the third straight day, the Sensex today gained 46 points to close at 18,869.69 on good buying in oil&gas, PSU and healthcare stocks amid a weak global trend.
After opening at 18,841.49, the 30-share Sensex moved in a narrow 89-point range as trading remained largely lacklustre.
It touched 18,905.62, an over 14-month high, and the day's low of 18,816.57, before ending at 18,869.69 -- a level not seen since July 25, 2011. It has gained nearly 291 points in past three days.
Similarly, the 50-share NSE Nifty closed 12.56 points higher at a more than 17-month high of 5,731.25. In April 29, 2011, it had ended at 5,749.50.
"Choppiness was order of the day. Markets were able to stay in positive territory mostly," said Milan Bavishi, Head Research, Inventure Growth & Securities.
The Sensex rose as RIL, Hindustan Unilever (HUL), TCS, HDFC and ONGC gained.
However, losses in ITC, Infosys and Jindal Steel capped the rise. HUL was the best performer rising 2.37 per cent,
followed by Dr Reddy's Lab (2.2 pc) and Coal India (1.98 pc).
Jindal Steel was the biggest loser in Sensex as it dropped 4.58 per cent, followed by Bajaj Auto and Hero MotoCorp that lost 1.6 per cent each on reports of weak September sales.
Traders said market participants largely ignored reports that Asian Development Bank lowered India's growth forecast for the current fiscal to 5.6 per cent from 7 per cent projected earlier, citing falling global demand and impact of delayed monsoon on agricultural production.
Among sectors, BSE Oil&Gas index gained 1 per cent, followed by BSE PSU (0.63 pc), BSE Healthcare (0.55 pc) and BSE Metal (0.46 pc). BSE Auto was the worst performer today as it lost 0.36 per cent.
Hopes of third round of economic stimulus by US Fed this evening aided sentiment, dealers said.
Barring Hong Kong that settled higher, most Asian markets closed lower on reports that China's services industry weakened for the third straight month. Europe was marginally up.
Key benchmark indices in Japan, South Korea, Singapore and Taiwan ended down between 0.01-0.45 per cent, while China's market was closed today.
European stocks were quoting slightly better as final Eurozone Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) for September came in slightly above a preliminary estimate today.
France's CAC was up by 0.10 per cent, Germany's DAX by 0.33 per cent and the UK's FTSE by 0.13 per cent.
Back home, 20 stocks finished with gains in 30-share Sensex while 10 stocks