The S&P BSE Sensex surged to its highest close in two-and-a-half years as investors shifted to defensive stocks such as consumer durables in an uncertain economic environment where current account deficit remains high and the rupee continues to rule weak against the dollar.

The BSE 30-share sensitive index, Sensex, closed at 20302.13 with a gain of 143.01 points.

Stocks of consumer durables gained the most with 3.85 per cent followed by fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) 1.53 per cent, realty 1.42 per cent and banks 1.29 per cent. All sectoral indices ended in the positive territory.

Investors are worried about the move of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in the forthcoming policy review.

However, they are comfortable with RBI’s further restrictions on gold imports as it would help bring down the widening current account deficit.

Among the broader indices, BSE 100 gained 0.71 per cent, BSE 200 0.64 per cent and BSE 500 0.59 per cent.

The BSE’s mid-cap stocks gained 0.06 per cent, but small cap was down 0.10 per cent.

On the National Stock Exchange (NSE), the Nifty closed at 6077.80 with a gain of 46 points.

“Ahead of expiry of Futures & Options we saw selective buying in banking, FMCG and information technology stocks. The mood is cautiously optimistic and the cues we are getting from Asian markets and Japanese are positive. It helped the market enter a new orbit above 6000 level,” said Alex Mathews, Research Head, Geojit BNP Paribas.

“We may see the market moving to the 6180 level in the near future,” Mr. Mathews added.

Rupee drops 4 paise

The rupee was trading in a narrow range. “Even the weakness in the value of dollar in international markets could not help the rupee,” said Mr. Mathews.

The rupee closed at 59.76/77 a dollar compared with its previous close of 59.72/73. It touched an intra-day low of 59.87.

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