MUMBAI: Rising for the third straight session, equity benchmark Sensex closed higher by 123 points on Wednesday, propped up by robust fag-end buying in banking and financial stocks amid a bearish trend in global equity markets.
Besides, covering-up of short positions by bears supported the late recovery in stocks, helped wipe off losses, traders said.
However, a weak rupee against major rivals overseas weighed on market sentiment and restricted gains, they added.
In a largely subdued session, the 30-share BSE Sensex ended 123.63 points or 0.21 per cent higher at 60,348.09. During the session, the index touched a high of 60,402.85 and a low of 59,844.82.
The broader NSE Nifty gained 42.95 points or 0.24 per cent to finish at 17,754.40.
IndusInd Bank was the biggest gainer on the Sensex chart, rising 4.75 per cent, followed by M&M, L&T, NTPC, ITC, Ultra Cement, Tata Steel, Maruti and SBI.
In contrast, Bajaj Finance, Tech Mahindra, Infosys and Sun Pharma were among the losers, shedding up to 2.30 per cent.
In the broader market, the BSE midcap gauge rose 0.61 per cent, and the smallcap index gained 0.28 per cent.
Stock markets were closed on Tuesday on account of Holi.
Elsewhere in Asia, markets in Shanghai, Seoul and Hong Kong ended with losses, while Tokyo settled in the green.
Equity exchanges in Europe were trading with losses in the afternoon session. The US markets had ended significantly lower in the overnight session.
The rupee slipped 13 paise to close at 82.05 (provisional) against the US dollar on Wednesday.
International oil benchmark Brent crude was trading 0.16 per cent lower at USD 83.16 per barrel.
Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs) were net buyers in capital markets as they bought shares worth Rs 721.37 crore on Monday, according to exchange data.
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