Mumbai :Markets rose for the second straight session as the benchmark BSE Sensex today gained over 45 points in a volatile trade to close at 26,079.48, led by gains in auto and banking stocks and a positive global trend.
Covering-up of short positions by speculators ahead of the December month expiry in the derivatives space accelerated the gains, traders said.
Sentiment took a turn for the better after Asian and European stocks rose across the board despite losses on the Wall Street overnight.
However, volumes remained thin for yet another session as most of foreign institutional investors are away in a year-end holiday season and other participants were not interested in widening their bets in a big way.
Participants remained cautious and took to year-end profit-booking, which dragged down the benchmark into the red briefly.
Marked by such contrasting fortunes, the 30-share Sensex ended higher by 45.35 points, or 0.17 per cent, at 26,079.48. The barometer had gained 195.42 points in the previous session.
The 50-share NSE Nifty closed at 7,928.95, up 3.80 points, or 0.05 per cent. Intra-day, it hovered between 7,942.15 and 7,902.75.
Bajaj Auto showed the way, up 1.76 per cent at Rs 2,531.15, followed by Mahindra and Mahindra (1.70 per cent) and Hero MotoCorp (1.18 per cent).
Gains in GAIL, HDFC, Bharti Airtel, Adani Ports, Tata Steel, ICICI Bank and Axis Bank too supported the upside.
Of the 30-Sensex constituents, 19 ended with gains while 11 led by BHEL, Coal India, Hindustan Unilever and ITC fell.
Sector-wise, BSE auto index was in the pink of health as it rose 0.56 per cent, followed by oil and gas (0.24 per cent), bankex (0.24 per cent), healthcare (0.06 per cent) and consumer durables (0.01 per cent).
The broader markets displayed a mixed trend as investors strengthened their bets, lifting the BSE mid-cap index by 0.42 per cent, while small-cap shed 0.13 per cent.
Shares in Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore and Shanghai also ended higher while European markets were trading in the positive zone in early deals, which influenced sentiment.
Meanwhile, foreign investors net sold shares worth Rs 302.62 crore yesterday, provisional data showed.