Shares of banking, auto, FMCG, metal, capital goods and IT sectors were in good demand from operators. Foreign institutional investors (FIIs) bought shares worth a net Rs 206.46 crore on Thursday, as per provisional data from the stock exchanges.
The Sensex resumed higher at 20,600.58 points and firmed up further to a high of 20,705.02 before quoting at 20,698.15 points at 1030 hours. It showed a gain of 161.51 points or 0.79 percent from its last close.
The NSE 50-share index Nifty also up by 49.95 points, or 0.82 percent, to 6,141.40 at 1030 hours. Major gainers were - ICICI Bank (1.98 percent), Axis Bank (1.92 percent), Gail India (1.58 percent), Tata Steel 1.54 (percent), Tata Motors (1.39 per cent), SBI (1.36 percent), HDFC (1.30 percent), ITC (1.19 percent) and Larsen (0.96 percent).
Asian stocks rose in their early trade today after a larger-than-forecast climb of US manufacturing in February tempered concern about global growth. Key benchmark indices in Taiwan, Singapore, Japan, Hong Kong and South Korea were up by 0.44-2.02 percent while China's Shanghai Composite fell 0.97 percent.
US stocks rose on Thursday on data showing that American factory activity accelerated in February at its fastest pace in nearly four years.


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