The benchmark S&P BSE Sensex erased early losses and gained for the third consecutive day, climbing above the 20,000 level after seven weeks and closing 76 points higher at 20,034.48, buoyed by sub-5 per cent wholesale inflation data and hopes of robust earnings.
The 30-share index resumed lower at 19,926.10 and dropped further to a low of 19,883.19, following weak IIP and retail inflation numbers that came after trading hours on Friday. It later recovered to end with a gain of 0.38 per cent. The Sensex last closed above the 20,000 mark on May 30, when it was at 20,215.40.
The 50-share Nifty index on the NSE rose 21.80 points, or 0.36 per cent, to 6,030.80. The SX40 index on the MCX-SX closed 51.15 points, or 0.43 per cent, higher at 11,940.03.
Firmness in the Asian and European markets and an indication of a higher opening in US index futures also boosted market sentiment.
Inflation based on the wholesale price index accelerated to 4.86 per cent in June from 4.7 per cent in May, according to government data released today.
Market sentiment was boosted "with inflation numbers for June coming sub-5 per cent level once again, and the recovery in global markets," said Nidhi Saraswat, a senior research analyst at Bonanza Portfolio Ltd. "Going forward, global cues and primarily Q1FY14 results shall be dictating market trend."
Shares of realty, FMCG, capital goods and banking sectors firmed up. Bank stocks gained even as the Reserve Bank of India fined 22 banks for violating KYC/anti-money laundering norms.
Foreign institutional investors (FIIs) bought shares worth a net Rs 644.82 crore on Friday, as per provisional data from the stock exchanges.