Mumbai: The Bombay Stock Exchange benchmark Sensex on Tuesday added over 156 points as investors picked up stocks, particularly IT shares, available at lower levels after recent losses, amid firming global cues.

The 30-share barometer advanced by 156.77 points to close at 16,498.47 points. The index initially touched the day's low of 16,213.18.

The broad-based National Stock Exchange index Nifty closed higher by 50.10 points at 4,948.90 after touching a low of 4,863.80 during the day.

Brokers said smart buying in IT stocks, which had seen heavy losses recently, on speculation that the US will announce further measures to stimulate world economy, helped the Sensex extend gains.

European stock markets rallied with Frankfurt and Paris jumping more than 2 per cent in opening trade following overnight gains in the US and firming trend in Asian region.

Speculators covering their pending long positions created in the recent bear phase ahead of the August month expiry in the derivatives segment on Thursday, generated some buying and supported the uptrend.

Brokers said some investors were seen picking up recently beaten fundamentally strong stocks available at existing lower levels.

Infosys, the second heaviest on the Sensex, shot up by 3.64 per cent to Rs 2,274 and leading software exporter TCS by 6.66 per cent to Rs 979.50. Indian software companies get more than 50 per cent of their revenue from the US and Europe.

Reliance Industries shot up by 1.23 per cent to Rs 765.55, Bajaj Auto by 4.27 per cent to Rs 1,545.35, BHEL by 2.65 per cent to Rs 1,761.50 and Larsen and Toubro by 1.82 per cent to Rs 1,592.50.