Mumbai: The BSE benchmark Sensex on Monday gained nearly 69 points in early trade on sustained buying by funds and retailers on hopes of a rate cut by the Reserve Bank amid a firm trend in the Asian region.
    
The 30-share barometer, which had gained almost 358 points in the previous four sessions, added 68.72 points, or 0.35 per cent, to 19,852.80 with stocks of oil and gas, auto, PSUs, metal and health-care sectors extending support.
    
Similarly, the wide-based National Stock Exchange index Nifty moved up by 26 points, or 0.43 percent, to 6,042.15.
    
Brokers said the trading sentiment remained firm on continued buying by funds and retail investors, largely on hopes that the RBI may cut rates later this month, triggering increased buying activity.
    
Besides, expectations that the corporates may come out with an encouraging third quarter earnings season, which begins later this week, also boosted the trading sentiment, they added.
    
Among Asian markets, Hong Kong's Hang Seng rose by 0.11 percent, while Japan's Nikkei shed 0.34 percent.

(Agencies)

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