Rising for the third straight session, the BSE benchmark Sensex on Thursday rose by over 34 points to 20,247.33 to hit a fresh 28-month high on buying mainly in realty, healthcare, oil and gas and banking stocks, amid strong foreign capital inflows.

The 30-share index advanced by 34.37 points, or 0.17 per cent, to 20,247.33, which was last seen in January 2011. The index had gained 521 points in last two trading sessions.

Similarly, the broad-based National Stock Exchange index, Nifty rose by 23.15 points, or 0.38 per cent, to 6,169.90, led by stocks of banking and interest-linked stocks.

Also, the MCX-SX flagship index SX40 rose by 29.35 points, or 0.25 per cent, to 11,954.49.

Brokers said the market was bullish ever since reports of easing inflation have raised hopes that RBI will go for rate cuts to boost economic growth. They said foreign investors continued buying in domestic stocks on expectations of faster growth.

Overseas investors pumped in Rs. 1,646.95 crore (around $301 million) into local equities on Thursday, as per BSE provisional data.

In the 30-BSE index components, 14 stocks gained led by Hindalco, Cipla, RIL, Dr. Reddy’s, Sterlite Industries and SBI. The banking stocks gained 1.11 per cent, led by SBI, ICICI Bank and HDFC Bank.

The interest-rate linked realty sector index gained the most by 1.81 per cent to 1,991.75 followed by oil and gas index by 1.64 per cent to 9,053.78.

Among other major gainers on the BSE, shares of Adani Ports surged 6.34 per cent to Rs. 161.90, after the company posted 197 per cent increase in consolidated net profit for the fourth quarter ended March 2013.

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