Mumbai: The BSE benchmark Sensex rose by 149 points ahead of the RBI meeting on Tuesday as investors bought telecom blue-chips like Bharti telecom and RComm besides energy major and largest private firm RIL, which will release its first quarter results later on Monday.

The Reserve Bank of India policy meet on Tuesday to decide on further interest rate hikes to check a towering inflation, however, restrained an otherwise upbeat mood.

Extending gains from last week,the Bombay Stock Exchange key index Sensex surged to 18,871.29 as Sensex-heaviest scrip RIL rose about one per cent after the government approved the stake sale in 21 of its fields to British Petroleum, and the market expectations of better earnings from the company.

The upsurge was supported by telecom stocks after Bharti Airtel on Friday hiked mobile tariffs by up to 20 per cent for pre-paid users using certain packages in several circles, triggering market expectations that other firms may follow suit.

Bharti Airtel, the largest mobile-phone operator by subscribers, climbed by 5.37 per cent to a near two-year peak at Rs 433 a share. Among its rivals, Rcom rallied the most, surging 14.91 per cent, Idea Cellular 7.97 per cent and Tata Communications by 5.65 per cent.

Broad-based National Stock Exchange index Nifty rose by 46.35 points to 5,680.30 despite weakness in Asian and European stocks, as US lawmakers failed to reach an agreement to raise the federal debt limit, raising prospects of a default that may threaten the global recovery.

(Agencies)