Mumbai, March 14 (IANS) A benchmark index for Indian markets Wednesday closed within striking distance of the 18,000 mark, gaining 105 points. It was at a three-week high with traders eyeing the upcoming rate review Thursday and the federal budget the day after.
The 30-scrip sensitive index (Sensex) of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) opened at 18,003.15 points, closed at 17,919.3 points, up 105.68 points or 0.59 percent over its previous close at 17,813.62 points.
The Sensex had breached the 18,000 point mark in early trade but slipped later.
The 50-scrip S&P CNX Nifty of the National Stock Exchange similarly ended higher at 5,463.90 points, up 34.4 points or 0.63 percent from its previous close.
Broader markets were quiet with the BSE 500 index closing 0.56 percent higher. The BSE midcap and small cap indices ended mixed.
Banking, capital goods and PSU stocks were the major gainers, while realty and IT scrips came under losses.
The market breadth was negative with 1,403 stocks advancing, 1,513 declining and 133 remaining unchanged.
According to data available with the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), foreign institutional investors bought stocks worth $182.05 million Wednesday.
Gainers on the Sensex included NTPC, up 2.63 percent at Rs.177.55; ICICI Bank, up 2.61 percent at Rs.953.85; L&T, up 2.47 percent at Rs.1,394.70 and ONGC, up 2.21 percent at Rs.293.85.
Major losers included TCS, down 3.56 percent at Rs.1,154.90; Wipro, down 1.41 percent at Rs.425.40; Tata Steel, down 1.1 percent at Rs.462 and Jindal Steel, down 1.06 percent at Rs.604.15.
Asian markets closed mixed.
The Japanese Nikkei ended 1.53 percent higher at 10,050.52 points, while Hong Kong's index closed on a lacklustre note at 21,307.89 points, down 0.15 percent.
The Chinese Shanghai Composite index closed 2.63 percent down at 2,391.23 points.
European markets were also in the green.
Britain's FTSE 100 was trading 0.51 percent higher at 5,986 points, while the German DAX was trading 1.26 percent up at 7,023.72 points.
The French CAC 40 was ruling 0.89 percent up at 3,581.69 points.