Mumbai:  Riding high on the back of frantic buying by foreign funds, the benchmark Sensex posted gains for the fifth consecutive week and settled higher by almost 371 points at more than three-month high of 17,604.96.

Domestic factors like buyback of shares by top heavyweight RIL from February 1, good Q3 earnings by the country's largest private sector lender, ICICI Bank, and the government's move to infuse Rs 7,900 crore capital in state- owned SBI, also heightened the market sentiment.

Hopes of cut in the key interest rates in near future by the RBI after higher manufacturing data and lower food inflation, too, further improved the outlook.

As a result, interest rate sensitive stocks from realty, auto and banking segments were in the limelight. Auto stocks also got support after the rise in sales in January.

Buying was seen mostly across-the-field as 11 out of 13 sectoral indices closed in the green between 4.77 percent and 1.04 percent. Only BSE-CD and BSE-CG finished in the red with a fall of 2.80 percent and 0.97 pct respectively.

The main market driver, Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs), picked up shares worth over Rs 5,850 crore in the week, including provisional data of February 3 while infusing a total Rs 15,230.30 crore in the current calendar year till February 2, which mainly kept the market tempo upbeat.

The Bombay Stock Exchange 30-share gauge resumed lower and closed with losses on the first day of the week. It bounced back from the second day and remained in positive terrain throughout the week to settle at 17,604.96, showing a net rise of 370.98 points or 2.15 percent.

In straight five-week of gains, the sensex has zoomed by 2,150.04 points, or 13.91 per cent, the highest 5-week gains after September, 2010. The investors got reach by over Rs 1.38 lack crore in the week and over Rs 8.59 lakh crore in the current calender year till February 3.

The NSE broad-based 50-issue Nifty also spurted by 121.15 points, or 2.33 percent, to end above 5,300-level after 3-month at 5,325.85.

On the global front, hopes of a move to resolve the euro-zone debt crisis, manufacturing growth data from Germany, jump in Japanese industrial production data for December and improved factory output figures from china and the US, further aided the uptrend, analysts said.

Metal stocks too attracted strong buying on account of gains in metal prices on the London Metal Exchange (LMEX).

Bullish market compelled retail investors to flock back to the bourses as second-line counters outperformed the Sensex. The BSE-Smallcap and the BSE-Midcap indices flared up by 3.00 per cent or 2.96 percent. In last straight five-week, they have jumped by a massive 20.48 percent and 17.74 percent.
According to analysts, tecnically, the market has entered in a long term rising trend as both the key indices, sensex and Nifty, has crossed the long term 200-days simple-moving- average (200-DSMA) and remained over that level for last three days, which is termed as a bullish for the market.

However, the Supreme Court in its verdict on February 2 in 2G spectrum telecom scam quashed 122 telecom licences issued to new operators after January 2008.