Mumbai: Ignoring surge in food inflation, the BSE benchmark Sensex on Thursday shot up 252 points as funds bought stocks on firm global cues and covering of positions during this month's settlement in the derivative contracts.

After opening lower at 16,316.66, the 30-stock BSE index edged up and ended 252.05 points up at 16,698.07, after touching a high of 16,756.08.

The gains were led by auto, IT and refinery sectors.

Similarly, the broad-based National Stock Exchange index Nifty crossed 5,000 level by gaining 69.55 points at 5,015.45, after touching a high of 5,034.25.

Brokers said the trading sentiment was bolstered by firm Asian trend and rebound in the European markets on hopes that German law makers will approve funds for bailout of Europe’s debt-laden nations.

Buying was so strong that a surge in food inflation failed to dampen the market sentiment. Food inflation rose to 9.13 percent for week ended September 17 from 8.84 percent in the previous week.

Investors were seen covering pending positions on the last day of September's settlement in the derivatives segment, which also fuelled the buying activity.

The auto sector index gained the most by adding 2.35 percent to 8,650.52 on expectations of rise in sale during the ongoing 'Navratras', considered to be auspicious days for making fresh purchases.

The IT sector rose 2.03 percent to 5,338.58. Country's software exporters get more than 80 percent of their revenue from the US and European markets.