MUMBAI: Stocks found firmer ground for the second straight session today, with the benchmark Sensex reclaiming the key 33,000-mark, ahead of US Federal Reserve's policy meet outcome.
Persistent capital inflows by foreign funds and covering-up of short positions by speculators influenced trading sentiment here, brokers said.
The BSE Sensex spurted 139 points to close at 33,136.18, while the broader NSE Nifty rose 30 points to 10,155.25.
Telecom stocks were the session's biggest gainers, with Bharti Airtel emerging on top in the Sensex pack.
After a strong opening, the BSE 30-share Sensex hit a high of 33,354.93, before closing at 33,136.18, up 139.42 points, or 0.42 per cent.
It had gained 73.64 points in the previous session.
The 50-share Nifty scaled a high of 10,227.30 intra-day but succumbed to profit-booking to finish at 10,155.25, still up 30.90 points, or 0.31 per cent.
Meanwhile, foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) bought shares worth Rs 344.16 crore on a net basis, while domestic institutional investors (DIIs) also purchased equities to the tune of Rs 731.17 crore yesterday, provisional data showed.
"Participants are keen to get cues on future rate hike trajectory (of US Fed), while hawkish pace of tightening might add volatility in the market.
"If the outcome of FOMC will be in-line with expectation without any underlining caveats, we could have a relief rally in the short-term," said Vinod Nair, Head of Research, Geojit Financial Services.
Stocks of sugar companies attracted buyers' fancy after the government yesterday scrapped the 20 per cent export duty on raw and refined sugar to boost shipments as the country is all set to produce record 29.5 million tonnes of the sweetener in the current 2017-18 marketing season.
Balrampur Chini zoomed 8.90 per cent, while Dhampur Sugar rose 0.90 per cent. KCP Sugar climbed 5.28 per cent, Gayatri Sugar gained 2.54 per cent while Ugar Sugar ended flat.
Banking stocks were back in better shape on value-buying coupled with short-covering. Major gainers were HDFC Bank, IndusInd Bank and Kotak Bank, rising up to 1.24 per cent.
In the 30-share Sensex pack, Bharti Airtel rose the most at 4.39 per cent, followed by NTPC at 2.11 per cent.
Other winners were L&T, HDFC Ltd, ONGC, Maruti Suzuki, M&M, RIL, Infosys, Wipro, Coal India, HUL and ITC Ltd, rising by up to 1.14 per cent.
Among sectoral indices, telecom jumped the most at 2.36 per cent, followed by realty, capital goods, teck, power, oil & gas, infrastructure, IT, FMCG, PSU, banking and consumer durables.
Metal, healthcare and auto sector indices ended in the negative terrain on profit-booking.
Broader markets too were in better shape, with the BSE small-cap index gaining 0.31 per cent and mid-cap spurting 0.22 per cent.
In the Asian region, Hong Kong's Hang Seng index rose 0.19, while China's Shanghai Composite Index shed 0.33 per cent and Singapore rose 0.12 per cent. Financial markets in Japan were shut today for a public holiday.
European indices were trading mixed in their late morning session. Frankfurt's DAX rose 0.11 per cent, while Paris CAC 40 was down 0.05 per cent. London's FTSE too fell 0.33 per cent as investors awaited a likely hike in US interest rates.