The BSE benchmark Sensex on Thursday extended gains for the sixth day in a row, adding 152 points to reach at 18,846 amid sharp dip in food inflation and firm global trend as concerns over Greek debt crisis eased.

Market sentiment was also bolstered by investors covering pending short positions on the last day of June contracts in the derivatives segment.

The Bombay Stock Exchange 30-stock index, Sensex, which had gained over 1,145 points in last five sessions, rose further by 152.01 points to close at 18,845.87 — highest since May 2.

The broad-based National Stock Exchange index Nifty advanced 46.95 points to 5,647.40, after touching the day’s high of 5,657.90.

Trading sentiment firmed further on reports of food inflation dipping to 7.78 per cent for week ended June 18 from 9.13 per cent in the previous week.

Emerging-market stocks rose for the third day, pushing the key index to a 3—week high, as concerns of a Greek default eased. The MSCI Emerging Markets Index added 1 per cent to 1,144.27, narrowing a 2.3 per cent drop for the quarter.

The rally was led by Reliance Industries and Infosys Technologies, which carry 21 per cent weight on the Sensex.

The RIL rose by Rs 12.30 to Rs 897.60 and Infosys by Rs 25.65 to Rs 2,907.40.

The FMCG sector index was the star performer, adding 1.83 per cent to 4,045.42 as the segment major Hindustan Unilever, the biggest household products maker, rose to a record by Rs 10.55 to Rs 342.75.

Other major gainers were SBI, Tata Power, Larsen and Toubro, Jindal Steel, Hero Honda, HDFC Bank, Tata Steel and Tata Consultancy.

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