In a listless session, the benchmark Sensex today closed with a modest rise of over 43 points at 26,160.90 -- a one-month high—on the first trading day of 2016, helped by select auto, capital goods and realty stocks.
On a weekly basis, both indices - the Sensex and the Nifty - ended 1.25 per cent and 1.30 per cent higher, marking their third straight weekly gains.
Most international markets were closed for the New year.
The near-absence of overseas cues meant investors remained directionless despite the beginning of the January monthly derivatives contracts.
The Sensex started on a weaker note, but ended higher by 43.36 points, or 0.17 per cent, at 26,160.90 -- its highest closing since December 1.
The gauge had gained 157.51 points supported by covering-up of short positions by speculators.
Tata Motors emerged as the top gainer among Sensex stocks by surging 2.66 per cent, followed by Adani Ports (2.65 per cent).
The 50-share Nifty edged up 16.85 points, or 0.21 per cent, to close at 7,963.20, a level last seen on November 4 last year. It shuttled between 7,909.80 and 7,972.55 intra-day.
Investors also bought second-line stocks with mid-cap and small-cap indices outperforming the Sensex with gains of 0.92 per cent and 0.88 per cent, respectively.
Meanwhile, foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) bought shares worth Rs 1,123.41 crore yesterday.
Among auto stocks, country’s largest car-maker Maruti Suzuki gained 0.43 per cent after it reported a 8.5 per cent increase in total sales in December.
Other auto stocks such as Tata Motors, Ashok Leyland and Eicher Motors also ended in positive terrain.
Stocks of aviation companies caught buyers’ fancy following a steep cut of 10 per cent in aviation turbine fuel (ATF) prices by oil marketing companies following a sharp fall in global oil prices.
SpiceJet and InterGlobe Aviation (which operates budget airline IndiGo) jumped and so did Jet Airways (up 8.28 per cent), which was also supported by its inclusion in the futures and option (F&O) segment from today.
Sectorally, the BSE realty sector index gained the most by surging 1.99 per cent, followed by capital goods (1.01 per cent), auto (0.93 per cent), power (0.89 per cent), PSU (0.83 per cent), metal (0.65 per cent) and banking (0.62 per cent), among others.