Extending gains for the fourth day, the BSE benchmark Sensex on Monday climbed over 266 points to close at nearly three-week high of 18,886.13 on heavy buying in metal, FMCG, oil & gas shares, amid firm global markets.

After rising nearly 652 points in last three days, the Sensex advanced further by 266.41 points, or 1.43 per cent to close at its highest level since 19,367.59 on August 14.

Brokers said easing crude oil prices might help in cooling inflation and trim the current account deficit of the country, which imports 80 per cent of its oil requirements.

A firming trend in the Asian region and higher opening in Europe after China’s manufacturing rose to a 16-month high, boosted the domestic market sentiment, they added.

On similar lines, the broad-based National Stock Exchange index Nifty added 78.95 points, or 1.44 per cent, to 5,550.75, after touching a day’s high of 5,564.90 and a low of 5,478.85.

Also, the SX40 index, the flagship index of MCX-SX, closed at 11,176.25, up 237.76 points, or 2.17 per cent.

In Sensex stocks, Reliance Industries shot up 3.78 per cent to Rs. 883.75 and ITC by 3.75 per cent to Rs. 319.40. ICICI Bank, also a Sensex stock, rose 2.89 per cent to Rs. 826.90.

In the 30-share Sensex, 23 stocks closed with gains led by Bajaj Auto, Coal India, Gail India, HDFC, Hindalco Industries, Hindustan Unilever, Maruti Suzuki, ONGC, Jindal Steel, Tata Steel, Tata Consultancy Services, SBI and Sun Pharma.

Sectorally, the metal sector index gained the most by rising 3.16 per cent to 3,180.08 followed by the FMCG index by 3.10 per cent to 6,538.65. The realty index rose by 3 per cent to 1,208.84 and the oil and gas index by 2.55 per cent to 8,357.15.

More In: Markets | Business