Mumbai: The BSE benchmark Sensex gained almost 79 points in opening trade on Friday on the back of bargain buying of select stocks by funds as well as retail investors.

The 30-share index of the Bombay Stock Exchange, which lost 146.36 points in Wednesday's trade after the RBI raised interest rates by 25 basis points to contain rising inflation, rebounded by 78.88 points to trade above the 18,000 points level at 18,064.76, with auto, metal, capital goods, banking and realty stocks staging a partial recovery.

Similarly, the wide-based National Stock Exchange Nifty index also moved up by 24.40 points to 5,421.15 points.

Brokers attributed the recovery in opening trade to the emergence of buying by funds and retail investors as several stocks turned attractive at current levels after the recent slide.

Stocks of Maruti Suzuki, the country's largest car-maker, shot up by Rs 43.90 to Rs 1,233.35 after the 13-day strike at its Manesar plant in Gurgaon was called off.