Extending its rally for the third straight session, the BSE benchmark Sensex on Monday rose by 181.58 points to close at nearly one month high, led by gains in blue chips, including RIL, L&T and Maruti, amid higher foreign fund inflows.

The 30-share index commenced on a firm note at 19,456 and rose further by 181.58 points, or 0.94 per cent, to 19,577.39.

This is Sensex’s highest close since 19,610.48 on June 3. Similarly, the wide based National Stock Index, Nifty, closed 56.65 points, or 0.97 per cent higher at 5,898.85.

Also, SX40 index, the flagship index of MCX-SX, rose by 126.46 points, or 1.10 per cent, at 11,620.81.

Brokers said energy stocks, led by heavyweight Reliance Industries, rose smartly after the government agreed to raise natural-gas prices as part of economic policy overhaul to revive growth.

They said foreign funds snapped a 13-day long selling streak and turned net buyers in the last two sessions, which helped the market to rise. Foreign institutional investors pumped in Rs.1, 124.31 crore into local equities on Friday, as per BSE provisional data.

Out of the 30 BSE shares, 24 shares ended with gains led by Maruti Suzuki rising 4.37 per cent to Rs. 1,605.25.

Other major gainers were RIL, which closed 2.43 per cent higher at Rs. 882.80 and Larsen and Toubro up 3.26 per cent at Rs. 1,449.95. Tata Power rose by 2.73 per cent to Rs. 88.40 after the company raised its tariff and NTPC jumped up by 2.78 per cent to Rs. 147.70.

Sectorally, the realty sector index gained the most by surging 5.26 per cent to 1,590.67 followed by power index by 2.77 per cent to 1,667.53.

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