Mumbai: Barometer Sensex ticked all the right boxes as it rallied for the fourth day to end at a 3-month high of 27,882 as February derivatives series got off to a solid start ahead of the budget next week, registering best weekly gains since May last year.
Financial stocks led by ICICI Bank, SBI, Axis Bank and HDFC Bank hogged limelight on better-than-expected earnings by most so far, which rose by up to 4.74 percent, lifting the BSE bank index by 1.50 percent.
Reflecting positive Asian cues, the 30-stock index opened positive and rallied to hit the session's high of 27,980.39.
But the rush to take profit meant the advance could not go too far and the gauge settled up 174.32 points, or 0.63 percent, at 27,882.46 -- a level last seen on 30 October last year when it had closed at 27,930.21.
The index had rallied 673.64 points in the past three sessions, aided by strong earnings amid positive global cues.
The NSE Nifty after hitting a high of 8,672.70 closed at 8,641.25, up 38.50 points, or 0.45 percent.
For the week, the Sensex recorded a gain of 847.96 points, or 3.13 percent, while Nifty zoomed 291.90 points, or 3.49 percent, their best weekly show since 27 May last year when they jumped 1,351.70 points, or 5.31 percent, and 406.95 points or 5.25 percent, respectively.
"Market continued to reach newer highs as the Budget day nears and investors are making sure not to miss the rally. Additionally, a good set of third quarter numbers is adding fresh impetus," said Vinod Nair, Head of Research, Geojit BNP Paribas Financial Services. Foreign funds made significant purchases of stocks on Wednesday, pepping up mood further.
Out of the 30-share Sensex pack, 19 scrips ended higher.
Market started the February series on a strong footing led by positive global cues following another record closing in the US. Hopes of market and corporate friendly measures from the budget to revive an economy hit by the cash ban kept the optimism level high.
ICICI Bank gained the most with 4.74 per cent following good quarterly numbers, followed by Bharti Airtel 3.82 per cent.
Other prominent gainers included NTPC, Maruti Suzuki, PowerGrid, RIL and Infosys.
GAIL spurted 1.36 percent after it approved issuance of one bonus share for every three held and an interim dividend of 85 percent. Intra-day, it touched 52-week high of Rs 493.80.
ITC fell 2.78 percent even as the company today reported a 5.71 percent increase in standalone net profit.
Foreign investors bought shares worth a net Rs 1,378.81 crore on Wednesday, as per provisional data. Stock exchanges were closed yesterday for the Republic Day.
Globally, Japan's Nikkei rose while Hong Kong's Hang Seng settled down. China's Shanghai market remained closed today on account of a public holiday.
European traded somewhat mixed in their early deals.
The BSE mid-cap rose 0.64 percent and small-cap 0.53 percent.
Among BSE sectoral and industry indices, power rose by 2.10 percent, followed by consumer durables, PSU and auto.
Investors too bet on US President Donald Trump embarking on a pro-growth drive of tax cuts, big spending and deregulation.
Wipro fell 1.55 percent after the company posted a 5.8 percent drop in consolidated net profit for the December quarter. Even Lupin, Wipro and HUL all declined.
The market breadth was positive after 1,401 shares ended higher, 1,378 closed lower while 217 ruled steady.
The total turnover on BSE read Rs 3,479.67 crore, lower than Rs 3,740.39 crore in the previous session.
Updated Date: Jan 27, 2017 18:44 PM