The BSE Sensex and NSE Nifty closed higher on Monday, rising for the third session in a row. Gains across banking, energy, pharma and metal stocks pushed the indices higher. National Stock Exchange benchmark index Nifty rose 83 points to close at 10,688 while the BSE Sensex settled at 35,165, up .48 240 points. Thirty five stocks on the 50-scrip Nifty index finished in the positive zone. Top gainers on the Nifty were Sun Pharma, HPCL, BPCL, GAIL India and Lupin, closing with gains of between 5 per cent and 6.6 per cent.
With Monday's rise, the BSE Sensex posted a total gain of 820 points in three sessions while the NSE Nifty advanced 258 points.
Banking stocks also extended their gains to a third straight session. The Nifty Bank finished 1.3 per cent higher. Punjab National Bank shares rose 6.4 per cent, Canara Bank 4.4 per cent and Bank of Baroda went up 2.9 per cent. SBI and ICICI Bank closed 1.9 per cent and 1.2 per cent higher respectively.
Oil & gas stocks jumped as a sharp drop in international crude oil prices and a recovery in the rupee against the US dollar boosted sentiment. The Nifty Energy - the NSE's sectoral index of oil & gas stocks - rose 1 per cent. Indian Oil - the largest fuel retailer in the country - closed 4.6 per cent higher. Oil prices fell on Monday, extending even steeper declines from Friday, as Saudi Arabia and Russia said they may increase supplies and as US production gains showed no signs of abating.
Shares of Sun Pharmaceutical Industries closed 6.6 per cent higher. The pharmaceuticals major had on Friday reported a nearly 7 per cent rise in its consolidated net profit at Rs 1,308.96 crore for the January-March quarter.
However, some selling witnessed in IT shares capped the upside.
The rupee firmed up against the dollar on Monday to its strongest level in two weeks. The Nifty IT index finished 1.9 per cent lower. Strength in the rupee against the US dollar affects profitability of Indian IT companies. The world's largest economy is the biggest source of revenue for Indian IT companies.
TCS fell 2.4 per cent, Infosys 1.3 per cent while Tech Mahindra settled 3.8 per cent lower.
(With agency inputs)