Rising for the third straight day, the BSE Sensex, on Thursday, ended 51 points higher, and the NSE Nifty closed above 6000-level for the first time in two years led by IT and refinery stocks, amid firming global cues.

The BSE benchmark index rose by 50.54 points, or 0.26 per cent, to 19764.78, a level last seen in January 2011. The 30-share index had gained 288 points in previous two sessions.

Similarly, the 50-share NSE index Nifty ended 16.25 points up at 6009.50. This was the first time in two years that NSE Nifty closed above the 6,000-mark.

“Markets consolidated after recent rally, but inched higher to close above 6000-mark led by gains in IT and Oil and gas stocks. Throughout the day, profit-booking was visible in banking stocks and momentum shifted to mid cap and small cap counters,” said Amar Ambani, Head of Research, IIFL.

Reliance Industries and ONGC gained around 1.5-1.9 per cent. In the IT pack, Infosys and TCS jumped by 1.24 per cent each while Wipro inched up by 0.93 per cent.

Brokers said the sentiment was bolstered after the U.S. budget bill was cleared and reports said the Institute for Supply Management’s U.S. factory index rose to 50.7 in December from 49.5 a month ago, signalling better outlook for IT firms.

Rupee down 15 paise

The rupee on Thursday fell for the first time in three days losing 15 paise to end at 54.50 against the dollar due to renewed demand for the U.S. currency, especially from oil importers.

The Indian currency commenced weak at 54.44 a dollar from its previous close of 54.35 at the inter-bank foreign exchange market and touched a high of 54.36 in afternoon deals.

Later, it fell back to a low of 54.62 on some hesitancy in local equities and dollar buying by importers. It managed to recover some ground and settled at 54.50, a fall of 15 paise.

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