There were widespread gains, with oil and gas stocks in the lead, amid a firming trend in the global market. Oil took back some of the lost ground in Asia today after a steep fall in the previous session, with US crude back above USD 30 a barrel, as traders weighed the impact of a potential freeze by key producers.

Global benchmark, Brent, for April advanced 43 cents, or 1.30 percent, to USD 33.44 a barrel. All eyes are now on the upcoming rail budget (Thursday), the economic survey (Friday), and the Union Budget, which is due to be presented on February 29.

There are expectations among investors that the Budget session, which starts on Tuesday, will yield some positive results amid worries over the fate of the long-delayed goods and services tax (GST) Bill.

Trading stayed in the positive zone for the better part of the day. The Sensex ended higher by 79.64 points, 0.34 percent, at over a two-week high of 23,788.79.

The 30-share Sensex had gained over 517.18 points in the past three sessions. At the close, the NSE Nifty was up 23.80 points, or 0.33 per cent, at 7,234.55. "Markets started the expiry week on a positive note led by strong global markets. Hopes of reform measures in the Budget Session (helped)... Upsurge in commodity prices too lifted sentiment," said Gaurav Jain, Director, Hem Securities.

 Latest News from Business News Desk