The Bombay Stock Exchange benchmark Sensex on Friday rose by 86 points to a two-month high on persistent buying mainly in auto, banking and consumer durables stocks.

The 30-share index added 85.91 points to 17,644.76 points, a level last seen on January 18.

ICICI Bank, the country’s largest private lender, rose by 1.91 per cent to Rs. 947.70, helping the index post gains for the third day in a row.

The wide-based National Stock Exchange index Nifty rose by 21.60 points to 5,282.00 points.

Among the Sensex stocks, Tata Motors gained the most rising by 3.36 per cent to Rs. 749.65 on reports that its Jaguar Land Rover unit will open five more dealerships in India next fiscal as economic growth spurs demand for premium automobiles.

Among other gainers, FMCG giant HUL rose by 2.61 per cent, Mahindra & Mahindra by 2.20 per cent and oil major ONGC by 1.87 per cent.

The BSE auto sector index rose by 1.75 per cent to 7,624.31 points on the back of gains in Maruti Suzuki and Tata Motors. Maruti Suzuki rose 1.76 per cent to Rs. 1,396.20, while Bajaj Auto gained Rs. 97.05 to Rs. 1,976.60.

The Bankex gained 166.15 points or 1.59 per cent and the BSE-Consumer Durable index by 56.54 points or 1.37 per cent.

Brokers said that the market sentiment continued to remain firm on heavy buying by foreign funds this month. As per data from the stock exchanges, FIIs bought stocks worth a net Rs. 12125.81 crore this month, till 25 March 2010.

They also said that the trading sentiment remained bullish on firming trend in the Asian region.

Asian stock markets were mostly up today with Japanese exporters higher on the yen’s recent weakness and banks in China were up after their earnings this week met expectations.

The key benchmark indices in China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Singapore, Taiwan, South Korea and Japan rose by between 0.49 per cent and 1.55 per cent.

Keywords: SensexBSEstocks

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