Mumbai: In yet another volatile session, the BSE Sensex Wednesday settled nearly 70 points higher, breaching the 28,000-level on mild buying in pharma, IT and PSU counters, but broader market sentiment remained edgy awaiting cues on US interest rate hike this year.
However, covering-up of short positions ahead of tomorrow's expiry of August series in the derivatives segment gave equities a slight push.
Globally, investors' focus is on US Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen's speech at the bankers' gathering in Jackson Hole later this week.
Vinod Nair, Head of Research, Geojit BNP Paribas Financial Services Ltd, said, "The market was volatile within a narrow range and closed on a positive note ahead of the derivatives expiry tomorrow. Global markets were mixed due to uncertainty over the upcoming speech by the chair of the Fed, Janet Yellen, this Friday, which will provide signs of a possibility of a rate hike in the September FOMC meet."
During the day, after shuttling between 28,108.39 and 27,959.87, the BSE Sensex settled 69.73 points, or 0.25 percent, higher at 28,059.94.
The gauge had edged up by 4.67 points in yesterday's choppy session.
The NSE Nifty ended at 8,650.30, showing a gain of 17.70 points or 0.21 percent, after hovering between 8,661.05 and 8,620.90.
Shares of drug firm Aurobindo Pharma jumped 6.96 percent to Rs 787.55 after the company yesterday reported a 23.81 percent rise in consolidated net profit for the first quarter ended June 30.
Maruti Suzuki emerged as the star performer among the 30-Sensex constituents by surging 2.40 percent higher at Rs 4,949.10, followed by Cipla 1.97 percent at Rs 565.90.
Other big gainers that supported the key indices were Infosys, NTPC, Sun Pharma, RIL, ONGC, Dr Reddy's, HDFC Bank, HDFC Ltd, Axis Bank, Power Grid and Wipro, rising by up to 1.97 percent.
As many as 14 constituents in the 30-share Sensex gained. Sectorwise, oil and gas jumped the most by 1.49 percent, followed by healthcare 1.30 per cent, PSU 0.71 percent and power 0.69 percent.
The broader markets too displayed a firm trend as retail investors widened positions, with BSE small-cap index rising 0.65 percent and mid-cap 0.61 percent.
Shares of Welspun India continued its losing streak for the third staight session and tanked 9.95 percent to hit its lower circuit at Rs 59.30 as the US-based retailer Target Corp has decided to termiante its contract with the company for alleged lapses in product supplies to it.
Foreign funds sold shares worth a net Rs 0.19 crore yesterday, as per provisional data.
Asia and Europe, however, traded mixed as investors awaited further clues on whether the Federal Reserve will raise US interest rates this year, while oil suffered fresh losses on persistent glut worries.
Globally, Japan's Nikkei rose 0.61 percent, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng shed 0.77 percent and Shanghai composite lost 0.12 percent.
In European markets, Paris was up 0.51 percent, Frankfurt rose 0.31 percent but London FTSE shed 0.16 percent in early deals.