The BSE benchmark Sensex extended gain for the second straight day by adding nearly 122 points in early trade on sustained buying on optimism of RBI easing monetary policy next month amid a firming global trend.
The 30-share barometer rose by 121.82 points, or 0.63 per cent, to 19,486.57 with all sectoral indices led by auto and metal stocks leading the rise.
The wide-based National Stock Exchange index Nifty traded above crucial 5,900 level higher by gaining 34.15 points, or 0.58 per cent, to 5,930.95.
Brokers said the sentiment remained firm on sustained buying by funds and retail investors on optimism of RBI easing monetary policy next month.
They said a firming trend in the Asian region, tracking overnight Wall Street's gains where optimism was growing that a deal to avert the fiscal cliff was in sight also influenced the sentiment.
In the Asian region, Hong Kong's Hang Seng rose by 0.71 per cent, while the Japan's Nikkei by 1.01 per cent in early trade today.
The US Dow Jones Industrial Average ended 0.87per cent higher yesterday.
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GLOBAL MARKETS ROUNDUP
* Nifty futures on the Singapore Exchange rose 0.44 percent. The MSCI-Asia Pacific index excluding Japan was up 0.43 percent.
* Asian shares rose and the euro hit multi-month highs on Wednesday as signs of progress in resolving the U.S. "fiscal cliff" budget crisis and expectations of more aggressive monetary stimulus from the Bank of Japan lifted riskier assets.
* U.S. stocks rallied on strong volume on Tuesday, capping off the S&P 500's best two-day run in a month, on confidence that a deal would be struck in Washington to avoid painful spending cuts and tax hikes that could hurt the economy.
FACTORS TO WATCH
* Reliance Power's majority shareholders to sell 5.4 pct stake to comply with regulatory norms
INDIAN STOCKS TO WATCH
* The Indian parliament cleared a path for more foreign investment in the banking sector by approving a bill to increase shareholders' voting rights, after dropping a controversial clause allowing banks to trade in commodity futures.
* India's parliament will not vote during this session on a long-awaited insurance bill aimed at raising the foreign investment cap to 49 percent from 26 percent in the industry, Finance Minister P. Chidambaram said on Tuesday.
* Standard & Poor's on Tuesday raised Greece's sovereign credit rating to