In choppy trade, the benchmark Sensex on Tuesday climbed for the third straight day and ended 40.08 points higher at a nearly two-week high buoyed by gains in Infosys, SBI and Maruti Suzuki shares, amid sustained strength in the rupee against US dollar.

After gaining 656 points in previous two sessions, the Sensex gained 40.08 points, or 0.19 per cent, to end at 20,890.82 led by stocks of realty, capital goods and banking sectors. The index closed at 20,894.94 on November 6.

In the 30-scrip Sensex, Hindalco and Jindal Steel led the 14 gainers. SBI and Maruti gained over 3 per cent each. 15 counters led by Sesa-Sterlite, HDFC Bank and Coal India declined. Tata Power ended flat.

On similar lines, the broad-based National Stock Exchange index Nifty rose by 14.35 points, or 0.23 per cent, to close at 6,203.35, after touching 6,212.40 intra-day. Also, SX-40 index of MCX-SX closed 34.80 points up at 12,401.4.

Brokers said steady capital inflows as rupee strengthened against the dollar and reports of higher earnings by some bluechips, mainly helped the domestic market extend gains.

The rupee appreciated to touch 61.87 versus dollar intra-day. Globally, the US dollar traded weak against major rivals ahead of Fed chief Ben Bernanke’s speech at National Economists Club in Washington later today.

Analysts hope Bernanke would speak in favour of keeping the USD 85 billion a month stimulus intact like New York Fed chief William Dudley and Federal Reserve chief nominee Janet Yellen did recently. Also, the release of FOMC minutes is expected on Wednesday.

Sectorally, the BSE Realty sector index gained the most by rising 1.51 per cent, followed by Capital goods index (up 1.28 per cent), TECK index (0.46 per cent) and Banking index (0.35 per cent). IT index gained 0.28 per cent on Infosys scrip gaining 1.3 per cent.

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