The BSE benchmark Sensex continued to rule firm for the third day on Monday in late morning trade, advancing another 182 points on persistent buying amid short-covering ahead of expiry of futures and options contract coupled with higher Asian cues.

Shares of consumer durable, power, metal, IT, healthcare and realty sectors were in good demand.

The Sensex resumed higher at 18,602.56 and moved up further to a high of 18,728.19 before quoting 18,701.18 points at 10.30 hours (IST).

It showed a gain of 181.74 points or 0.98 per cent from its last weekend’s level.

The NSE 50-share index, Nifty, also rose by 47.40 points or 0.87 per cent to 5,519.15 at 10.30 hours (IST).

Major gainers were — BHEL (4.39 per cent), Sterlite Ind (4.22 per cent), Tata Power (4.04 per cent), Wipro (3.19 per cent), Coal India (2.78 per cent) and NTPC (2.33 per cent).

Asian stocks rose for a second day in their early trade after a slump in US home sales eased speculation that the Federal Reserve will reduce economic stimulus next month.

Key indices in Singapore, Hong Kong, China, Japan, Taiwan and South Korea were up by 0.14 to 1.41 per cent.

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