Mumbai: The BSE benchmark Sensex ruled firm for the third consecutive week, surging by another 584 points during the past week in view of strong corporate results and sustained buying by foreign funds.

Shares of realty, refinery, banking, capital goods, auto, metal and power companies shot up as operators and investors opted for heavy buying at existing levels.

The BSE Sensex rose by 584.39 points, or 3.62 percent, to 16,739.01, its highest close since December 7, 2011. The index has risen by 1,284.09 points, or 8.31 percent, in the last three weeks.

The S&P CNX Nifty also gained 182.60 points, or 3.75 percent, to 5,048.60, its highest close since December 7, 2011.

The BSE Mid-Cap index rose by 1.75 per cent and the BSE Small-Cap index gained 1.71 percent. Both these indices underperformed the Sensex.
    
Foreign institutional investors (FIIs) bought shares worth Rs 4,441.37 crore in the eight trading sessions from January 10 to 19, 2012, as per provisional data from the stock exchanges.

Trading began on a positive note as headline inflation hit a two-year low, which reinforced expectations that the Central Bank will start cutting interest rates in the coming months to revive slowing economic growth. Headline inflation eased to a two-year low of 7.47 percent in December, 2011, from 9.11 percent in November, 2011.

Gains in world stocks triggered by stronger-than-expected GDP growth in China, the world's second-biggest economy, in the fourth quarter of 2011 also boosted the market sentiment.
    
Key benchmark indices reached their highest closing level in more than six weeks as private sector bank HDFC Bank, two-wheeler makers Hero MotoCorp and Bajaj Auto reported strong Q3 results.
    
India's second-largest bike maker by sales Bajaj Auto jumped 8.97 percent, while Hero MotoCorp gained 8.96 percent after the company reported 42.89 percent growth in net profit.

Index heavyweight Reliance Industries (RIL) jumped 8.37 percent in view of a proposal for buyback of equity shares.

Tata Power Company jumped 9.10 percent and NTPC gained 5.06 percent.

India's largest realty firm by net profit DLF rose 8.83 percent, while India's largest small car-maker by sales Maruti Suzuki India surged by 12.57 percent and was the top gainer from the Sensex pack.
   
India's largest truck-maker by sales Tata Motors rose by 4.84 percent.

In addition, India's largest private sector bank by branch network ICICI Bank rose by 6.71 percent, while India's second-largest bank by net profit HDFC Bank rose 4.13 percent.

India's largest commercial bank by net profit and branch network State Bank of India (SBI) gained 8.7 percent.

Metal stocks rose as data showing China's manufacturing gauge remained in contraction mode in January, 2012, boosted the case for monetary policy easing in the world's second-largest economy. China is the world's largest consumer of copper and aluminum.

Among the other gainers, Sterlite Industries India closed 10.15 percent higher and Hindalco Industries rose by 7.73 percent. In addition, India's largest private sector steel-maker by sales Tata Steel rose 5.03 percent.

Among the major indices, the BSE-Realty index shot up by 7.97 percent, followed by the BSE-Oil&Gas index (6.43 percent), Bankex (5.94 percent), the BSE-CG (5.49 percent),

BSE-Auto (4.17 percent), BSE-Metal (4.10 percent), BSE-Power (3.83 percent) and BSE-CD (3.48 percent).
    
In the 30-share Sensex pack, 23 stocks gained and seven declined during the week.

The total turnover on the BSE and NSE firmed up to Rs 12,718.82 crore and Rs 59,194.05 crore, respectively, as against last weekend's level of Rs 12,500.80 crore and Rs 55,525.31 crore.

(Agencies)