Mumbai: Buoyed by over 5 percent jump in RIL after its new gas find, the BSE benchmark Sensex on Monday galloped over 326 points, clocking its best gain in two weeks, to regain 20,000-peak on heavy buying in Sun Pharma, HDFC, ITC and Bharti Airtel shares after last week's losses.
    
After opening at 19,750.67, the 30-share index gained momentum as session progressed to touch high of 20,083.47 and finally settled the day at 20,030.77 -- a gain of 326.44 points or 1.66 per cent. On Friday, Sensex gained 30 points.
    
Last week, Sensex fell by 2.9 per cent on concerns early withdrawal of US monetary stimulus will hit FII fund flows.
    
RIL, which has second-highest weight in Sensex, was the star performer surging 5.12 per cent -- best gain in over 8 months -- after announcing a huge natural gas discovery in the flagging eastern offshore KG-D6 block on Friday.
    
ITC, HDFC Bank and HDFC notched up 1-2 per cent gains. Sun Pharma gained over 4.6 per cent and CIL rose ahead of Maerch quarter earnings. 27 of 30 Sensex constituents rose.
    
Buying momentum was so strong that all 13 BSE sectoral indices closed with gains of between 0.53-3.00 per cent with consumer durable, oil, metal, pharma and banks at forefront.
    
"This week would be action packed and volatile, since it will include the derivative expiry as well as GDP data. Expect markets to bounce upward on back of expected weakness in USD," said Nagji K Rita, CMD, Inventure Growth & Securities.
    
The 50-share NSE Nifty shot up by 99.60 points or 1.66 per cent to 6,083.15. Similarly, MCX-SX -- flagship index SX40 -- closed up 214.5 points, or 1.84 per cent, at 11,681.13.
    
Overall, nearly 1400 scrips rose today while 990 fell. Investor wealth rose by Rs 1 lakh crore to Rs 66.7 lakh crore.
    
Analysts said the surge in stocks could be due to short-covering ahead of Thudrday's monthly derivative expiry.
    
Outside broader indices, Britannia Industries gained nearly 16 per cent after robust earnings. Astrazeneca Pharma surged over 15 per cent ahead of parent's firm proposed OFS.
    
However, aviation stocks saw a bad day with Spicejet (down 4.9 pc) and Jet Airways (down 3 pc) after poor results.

(Agencies)

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