The benchmark BSE Sensex gained for the third straight session by adding 54 points in early trade on Thursday on sustained buying by funds and retail investors amid a firming Asian trend.

The 30-share barometer, which had gained nearly 52 points in the previous two sessions, rose further by 54.07 points, or 0.27 per cent, to 20,315.10 with consumer durable, healthcare, metal and oil and gas sector stocks leading the rise.

The National Stock Exchange index Nifty moved up by 17.85 points, or 0.30 per cent, to 6,040.25.

Brokers said sustained buying by funds as well as retail investors amid a firming trend on other Asian bourses mainly influenced the trading sentiment in India.

Among other Asian markets, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng rose by 0.34 per cent while Japan’s Nikkei gained 0.37 per cent in early trade on Thursday.

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