In choppy trade, the BSE benchmark Sensex on Tuesday ended 21 points higher at 18,694.41 points on the back of impressive gains in ITC, HDFC and Hindustan Unilever.
The 30-share BSE barometer moved erratically in a range of over 150 points during the day.
Brokers said mild profit-booking trimmed the gains but signs of buying by foreign funds helped the Sensex end the day in positive terrain.
They said investors remained confident of government giving a further push to economic reforms, particularly after the Cabinet yesterday approved Rs 1.9 lakh crore debt restructuring of state electricity boards.
Power sector stocks, led by Torrent Power, ended with gains. Torrent rose by 1.78 per cent to Rs 171.10, Adani Power was up 1.09 per cent and Reliance Power 0.94 per cent.
“Power reforms are much needed for the sector. We need to see the fineprints before reacting, but overall it is a positive step in right direction. If reforms take centerstage and inflation is controlled, then IMF comments hardly matters,” CNI Research CMD Kishor P Ostwal said.
“As such, we are close to the best case valuations and any rally beyond 18,900 will be purely liquidity driven,” he added.
Retail investors were seen buying second line stocks, indicating their increased participation. The BSE-Midcap and BSE-Smallcap indices outperformed the Sensex, gaining by 0.46 per cent and 0.53 per cent respectively.
Realty and FMCG counters were in keen demand while metal and auto stocks attracted profit-booking.
Blue-chips ITC, HDFC, Hindustan Unilever, RIL and BHEL gained in the range of 1.28 per cent to 2.67 per cent, but Tata Motors, Jindal Steel, ONGC, ICICI Bank and Maruti Suzuki ended with losses. Jindal Steel fell the most among 30 Sensex scrips by 4.65 per cent.
The Nifty of the National Stock Exchange also edged up by 4.30 points to close at 5,673.90 points.