Mumbai: The Bombay Stock Exchange benchmark Sensex shot up 349 points on Wednesday to over 19,470 as funds bought strong stocks, led by auto and IT sectors, amid forecast of normal monsoon and firm global cues.

Brokers said reports that rains this year will be 98 per cent of the long period average (LPA), coupled with a firm tend in the Asian region and higher openings in the European markets, pushed up the domestic markets.

The auto sector index gained the most, 2.72 per cent, to reach 9,609.84, as Mahindra and Mahindra raised Rs 36.70 to Rs 763 and Tata Motors by Rs 48.05 to Rs 1,251.35.

The monsoon forecast also buoyed companies such as National Fertilizers, Gujarat State Fertilisers and Chemicals and Rashtriya Chemicals and Fertilizers.

The IT sector rose 2.39 per cent to 6,248.18 as HCL Technologies led gains among software exporters. It added 9.93 per cent to Rs 522.85 after reporting profits that exceeded market estimates. TCS climbed 4.63 per cent to Rs 1,218.80 ahead of its earnings report on Thursday.

Major market supporters were HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, Tata Power, Tata Steel, Bajaj Auto and BHRL on increased buying by investors at lower levels.

As buying spilled over to broader market, smallcap sector index gained 1.29 per cent to 8,875.80 and midcap index by 1.18 per cent to 7,225.87.

(Agencies)