Mumbai:  Extending gains for the third session in a row, the BSE benchmark Sensex on Tuesday rose 119 points on funds buying bluechips led by financials on rising investor hopes of rate cut by RBI amid strong trend in Asia.

Sensex, which had gained 420 points in the last two sessions, rose another 119.27 points or 0.68 percent to 17,597.42. Intra-day, it touched a high of 17,664.10. The NSE 50-scrip index Nifty rose 40.60 points, or 0.76 percent to 5,358.50.

Asian markets rose after data signalled growth in China’s services industries. Brokers said banking stocks gained by gaining up to 2.43 percent on hopes that the Reserve Bank may cut rates at its meeting this month to ease liquidity crunch.
Federal Bank spurted by 2.43 percent, SBI by 1.95 percent, Axis Bank by 1.56 percent, ICICI Bank by 1.87 percent and HDFC Bank by 0.51 percent. Top heavyweight Reliance Industries shot up 1.57 percent. Of the 30 Sensex scrips, 21 made gains.

The consumer durables index gained the most by adding 2.14 percent to 6,793.76, followed by capital goods index by 1.65 percent to 10,370.55 as BHEL posted attractive quarter profits.