The BSE benchmark Sensex on Monday closed 29 points higher in the first trading session of fiscal year 2013-14 supported by buying in blue-chip stocks such as Dr. Reddy’s, Infosys and RIL.

The index moved between 18,959.48 and 18,796.60 before ending moderately higher by 28.98 points, or 0.15 per cent, to 18,864.75.

The second most heavy on the benchmark Sensex, Infosys surged by 1.85 per cent to Rs 2,943.25 on optimism of better quarter earnings scheduled on April 12, while most heavy Reliance Industries rose 0.58 per cent to Rs 778.15 after nine days of losses. Shares of Dr. Reddy’s closed 3.34 per cent up to closed at Rs 1825.30.

Similarly, the broad-based National Stock Exchange index Nifty rose by 21.85 points, or 0.38 per cent, to 5,704.40, after moving between 5,720.95 and 5,675.90.

Brokers said the buying activity was more confined to recent losers as the benchmark recorded first quarterly losses since December 2011.

The Sensex has recorded its first quarterly decline since the three months ended December 2011 amid weakest economic expansion in a decade, widening budgetary deficits and the highest inflation.

They said most investors were directionless as most of the Asian and European markets were closed for a public holiday.

In 30-BSE index components, 15 stocks closed higher while other 15 ended in negative zone. Major gainers were — Dr Reddy’s Lab, Larsen and Toubro, BHEL, Cipla, Hindustan Unilver, NTPC, State Bank of India and ICICI Bank.

The realty sector index was star performer by adding 5.37 per cent to 1,875.69 followed by capital goods by 1.68 per cent to 9,168.97. Power index rose by 1.09 per cent to 1,664.51 and healthcare index by 0.97 per cent to 8,085.46.

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