Mumbai: The BSE Sensex gained 80 on Tuesday, up for the fourth session in a row to reach 3-week high of 18,492.45, on continuing FII inflows amid a positive trend in the global markets.

Besides, brokers said, short-coverings ahead of the settlement of this month's derivative contracts on Thursday pushed up the market.

Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs) - key players behind the on-going rally, have bought shares nearly worth Rs 2,953 crore in three sessions since June 23, analysts said.

The Bombay Stock Exchange 30-share barometer touched a high of 18,527.45 soon after opening trade, but dropped to a low of 18,323.44. Later, it moved in a narrow range to settle at 18,492.45, up 80.04 points or 0.43 per cent.

It had gained 862 points in the last three sessions.

The NSE 50-issue Nifty also improved by 18.70 points or 0.34 per cent settle at 3-week high of 5,545.30.

HDFC, Hindalco, L&T, BHEL, Bajaj Auto, Bharti Airtel, ICICI Bank and SBI supported the rally.

"FII inflows have partly powered this rally, while the Government's move to hike fuel prices has been greeted with cheer. Globally too, things haven't really got worse, with Greece, in all probability looking like averting a default," said Amar Ambani, Head of Research, IIFL.

Asian and European stocks ended mixed, with upward bias.
The CAC was up 0.61 per cent and the FTSE by 0.46 per cent, while the DAX slipped 0.07 per cent. The US markets were up by 1 per cent at overnight close.

"The Sensex gained to end near the 18,500 mark led by Pharma, Auto and Capital goods stocks. However Oil & Gas stocks witnessed profit booking, after Brent crude was up by 2 per cent. The market was very stock specific and some mid-cap stocks witnessed momentum," said Parag Doctor, Associate VP at Motilal Oswal Securities.

Monday’s favourite state-owned PSU oil stocks fell on profit booking. GAIL dropped 2.22 per cent, BPCL (1.84 pc), HPCL (1.79 pc), IOC (1.68 pc) and Oil India (1.19 pc).

In all, 21 Sensex scrips ended with gains, while others finished with losses. Hindalco firmed up by 4.15 per cent, Bajaj Auto (2.87 pc), HDFC (2.18 pc), BHEL (1.82 pc), Bharti Airtel (1.07 pc), Sterlite Ind (1.03 pc) and L&T (0.79 pc).

However, DLF fell 2.21 per cent, Jaiprakash Associates (1.56 pc), Jindal Steel by 1.16 pct and Wipro by 0.76 pct.

Among the sectoral indices, BSE-Consumer Durables rose 0.95 per cent, Health Care (0.95 pc), Capital Goods (0.94 pc), Auto (0.82 pc) and Power (0.72 pc).

The market breadth at BSE remained positive with 1,464 stocks gaining ground, as against 1,378 finishing with losses. The total turnover was high at Rs 2,824.01 crore, up from Rs
2,566.18 crore on Monday.