The BSE Sensex gained 106 points to nearly 3-week high of 17,919.30 today - up for the fourth day in a row - lifted by FIIs buying banking, capital goods and PSU stocks ahead of RBI's monetary policy tomorrow and strong global markets.
The BSE 30-scrip Sensex, which had gained 668 points in the previous three sessions, resumed higher and briefly regained the 18,000 level after two weeks.
However, it gave up early gains as rise in inflation dampened investor mood, experts said. Inflation rose to 6.95 per cent in February, from 6.55 per cent in January, dimming changes of RBI cutting lending rates, experts said.
The Reserve Bank is slated to announce a mid-quarterly review of the monetary policy tomorrow, a day before the presentation of the Union Budget 2012-13.
The Sensex however closed with gains of another 105.68 points or 0.59 per cent to 17,919.30, a level last seen on February 24.
The NSE 50-share Nifty also moved up further by 34.40 points or 0.63 per cent to 5,463.90.
Market sentiment was largely bolstered by firm global markets, with US key index closing at highest level since December 31, 2007 on upbeat economic data.
"Strong closings in the US markets acted as positive trigger for the global markets. However, India's February monthly inflation figure acted as a dampener for the markets as the wholesale price index quickened," said Shanu Goel, Research Analyst at Bonanza Portfolio.
She said the markets, after consolidating for a while, slipped lower amid concerns on RBIs stance in tomorrowҒs Monetary policy.
Goel added that shares of the companies affected by announcements in Railway Budget today were volatile during the day.