Mumbai: Extending gains for the fourth day in a row, the BSE benchmark Sensex on Friday rose by 173 points on sustained buying driven by expectations of a cut in interest rates by the Reserve Bank.
    
The 30-share Sensex, which had gained 568 points in the last three sessions, advanced further by 173.11 points, or 0.99 percent, to 17,604.96.
    
Similarly, the National Stock Exchange index Nifty rose by 55.95 points, or 1.06 percent, to 5,325.85 with blue-chips, led by Reliance Industries and Infosys, recording gains.
    
Brokers said market sentiment remained buoyant on reports that the Reserve Bank of India might slash interest rates in view of slowing food inflation.
    
Sensex heaviest Reliance Industries rose by 1.10 percent to Rs 837.75 and second heaviest Infosys gained 0.96 percent to Rs 2,779.95.
    
The realty sector index gained the most by rising 2.15 percent to 1,784.17, followed by healthcare index which gained 1.69 percent to 6,411.72 as Dr Reddys surged 2.16 percent to Rs 1,670.50 on encouraging quarter earnings.
    
Others on the plus side were Bharti Airtel, Sun Pharma, Tata Consultancy Services, ONGC, Mahindra and Mahindra, Tata Motors, ICICI Bank, Hindustan Unilever, HDFC Bank, BHRL and Cipla.

(Agencies)