Mumbai: The Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) benchmark Sensex rose by 196.87 points or 1.07 per cent to 18,547.61 in the opening trade on Friday. It had gained nearly 512 points in the previous three sessions.

The 30 share index went up by almost 197 points, extending gains into the fourth straight session on sustained buying by funds, driven by firming trend overseas.

Stocks in the IT, realty banking, auto and metal sectors, led the rally.

Similarly, the broad-based National Stock Exchange Nifty index also gained 66.30 points, or 1.20 per cent, to 5,588.70.

Brokers said, in addition to the firming trend on other Asian boures following overnight gains at the US market on encouraging, short-covering by speculators also buoyed the sentiment, helping the Sensex to maintain its upward journey.

Meanwhile, Japan's Nikkei Index was up by 1.38 per cent and Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index was up by 0.81 per cent in early trade on Friday.

In the US, the Dow Jones Industrial Index ended 0.70 per cent higher on Thursday.

(Agencies)