Mumbai: Equity indices ticked higher for the fourth straight session Thursday as investors sentiment remained positive amid a strengthening rupee and sustained foreign fund inflows.
The BSE benchmark Sensex climbed 89.32 points or 0.24 per cent to finish at 36,725.42, while the broader NSE Nifty inched up 5.20 points or 0.05 per cent to 11,058.20. The Sensex has now gained nearly 858 points in four sessions.
Larsen and Toubro emerged as the top performer in the 30-share Sensex pack after the engineering major announced large order wins from domestic clients.
Other gainers were Mahindra and Mahindra, Axis Bank, ITC, SBI, HDFC, PowerGrid, Tata Motors, TCS, Tata Steel and Reliance, rising up to 1.77 per cent.
On the other hand, Coal India, Sun Pharma, NTPC, ONGC and Yes Bank were among the major laggards, declining up to 3.09 per cent.
"Mid and small-cap took a breather but exuberance remains due to investors change in preference to cheap valuation.
"On the global front, market was mixed ahead of important central banks meetings, including ECB, Fed and BoJ. Rise in US trade deficit and deteriorating global outlook impacted the sentiment," said Vinod Nair, Head of Research, Geojit Financial Services.
Of the 30 Sensex scrips, 12 ended with gains while 18 saw losses.
The Sensex started off the day on a positive note at 36,744.02 and hit a high of 36,830.25 and a low of 36,590.88. It finally settled at 36,725.42 -- 89.32 points, or 0.24 per cent higher.
The broader NSE Nifty opened at 11,077.95 and shuttled between 11,089.05 and 11,027.10, before ending at 11,058.20 -- showing a rise of 5.20 points, 0.05 per cent.
Sectorally, BSE Capital Goods topped the gainers' chart, spurting 1.51 per cent, followed by industrials, FMCG, telecom and bank indices.
However, healthcare, IT, teck, realty and oil and gas ended in the red.
The market breadth was tilted in favour of sellers as 1,349 scrips declined while 1,309 advanced.
Investor sentiment got a major boost from a constant rise in the Indian rupee, which was trading 28 paise higher at 69.89 against the US dollar intra-day.
Meanwhile, foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) purchased shares worth Rs 1,130.78 crore, while domestic institutional investors (DIIs) offloaded equities to the tune of Rs 878.45 crore Wednesday, provisional data showed.
Asian markets showed weakness, tracking lower Wall Street stocks and awaiting fresh developments on the China-US trade front.
A weaker-than-expected private US jobs data pulled US stocks lower.
Shanghai Composite fell 0.14 per cent, Japan's Nikkei ended 0.7 per cent lower; while Hong Kong's Hang Seng dipped 0.89 per cent and Korea's Kospi dropped 0.45 per cent.
In Europe, Frankfurt's DAX dropped 0.49 per cent, while Paris CAC 40 slipped 0.39 per cent in their early deals. London's FTSE also fell 0.41 per cent.