The BSE benchmark Sensex on Friday gained for the third straight day by adding over 21 points to end at new 6-week high on heavy buying in software exporters following robust earnings from TCS.
Sharp losses in BHEL, HDFC and ICICI Bank weighed on the 30-share blue-chip index but good gains in IT and auto stocks like Bajaj Auto helped Sensex end in positive terrain. RIL closed 0.7 per cent higher ahead of Q1 earnings.
The Sensex, which had gained 277 points in past two sessions, advanced further by 21.44 points, or 0.11 per cent to 20,149.85. Though, it commenced on a promising note to touch 2-month high of 20,256.60, fag-end profit booking wiped off some initial gains.
Brokers said market sentiment was bolstered after Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), Asia's largest software exporter by market value, gained 5.3 per cent, leading peers like Infosys higher.
TCS' total revenue, under the Indian IFRS accounting standards, rose 21 per cent to Rs 17,987 crore from Rs 14,869 crore a year ago. TCS surged to a record of Rs 1,755 before ending at Rs 1,740.10, posting a gain of 4.92 per cent.
However, the broad-based National Stock Exchange index Nifty surrendered all gains to end lower by 8.85 points, or 0.15 per cent, to 6,029.20, after climbing to 6,066.85. SX40 index, the flagship index of MCX-SX, inched up by 2.54 points.
In Sensex components, 16 stocks closed with gains while 14 ended lower. Among major gainers were Bharti Airtel, Coal India, Dr Reddy's, Hero MotoCorp and ONGC.
Bhel slumped 8 per cent on concerns over order cancellations and sluggish pace in new order wins. HDFC reported 34 per cent rise in profit in June quarter but stock slipped 2.35 per cent as it missed estimates, said brokers.
"For the next week, we believe traders need to remain extremely cautious. It is the derivative expiry next week," said Nagji K Rita, CMD, Inventure Growth & Securities.
Sectorally, IT sector index gained the most by rising 2.81 per cent, followed by Teck index (2.20 pc), Auto index (1.66 pc) and Oil and Gas index (0.67 pc).