Mumbai: The BSE Sensex moved up for the eighth straight session on Thursday, the longest stretch of upward march since last April, adding 155 points to close above 19,445 on steady FII inflows and easing inflation amid firm global trends.

In a highly volatile trade, the gauge shuttled between 19,575.16 and 19,284.35 as the recent rally led investors to off-load pending positions on the last day of the month's settlement in the derivative segment.

The Bombay Stock Exchange benchmark index Sensex gained 155.04 points to close at 19,445.22 in continuation to a gain of 1,446 points in the last seven sessions -- the longest stretch of gains since April 15, 2009.

The Sensex jumped 5.2 per cent last week and has rallied 8.8 per cent in March, poised for its biggest monthly advance since September.

Similarly, the broad-based National Stock Exchange index Nifty rose by 46.10 points to 5,833.75, after touching the day's high of 5,872.

FIIs bought USD 1.3 billion worth of Indian equities in March, after selling USD 2.2 billion in January and February.

Brokers said investors bought equities on easing food inflation, which fell back in the single digit, and hopes of better fourth quarter earnings to be announced -- starting in a couple of weeks.

Food inflation fell to 9.5 per cent for week ended March 19, down from 10.05 per cent in the previous week.     

Asian trend firmed and Europe opened higher on US jobs report that increased confidence in the growth of the world’s largest economy.

IT sector led the rally by adding 1.92 per cent to reach 6,548.10 on hopes that upbeat results and outlook last week from global tech majors indicated resurgence in tech spending.

The Indian IT sector index has jumped nearly 8 per cent since results from the two US-based giants.

The second most heaviest on the Sensex – Infosys Technologies spurted by Rs 66.60 to Rs 3,236.75. Tata Consultancy Services rose by Rs 31.15 to Rs 1,182.50 and Wipro by Rs 5.45 to Rs 478.30.

The stocks of FMCG, oil and gas, teck, metal, realty and power sector also remained in the fore-front of buying.

(Agencies)