The Sensex and Nifty closed higher for the fifth straight session today on across-the-board buying amid expectations of a shift in RBI's policy stance. The BSE Sensex vaulted 358.42 points, or 0.98 per cent, to close at 36,975.23, while the broader NSE Nifty gained 128.10 points, or 1.17 per cent, to 11,062.45. Both the indices closed at five-month highs, led by financial services, IT and metal stocks, amid persistent foreign fund inflows.
Analysts said investor sentiment was bullish ahead of the Reserve Bank of India's monetary policy meeting outcome, scheduled for Thursday.
The RBI's Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) began its three-day meet on Tuesday to decide on key rates amid expectations that it may change its policy stance to 'neutral' from 'calibrated tightening' on low inflation footprint, even as a rate cut was ruled out by many experts.
Mustafa Nadeem, CEO at Epic Research said, "A decisive breakout is seen on the charts on Nifty along with buying across the sectors. Auto, Media, IT, PSU along with Midcap and small cap have added gains as much as 1% - 4%. This is an indication of improved breadth which was much needed for bulls to clear this hurdle."
Market breadth was negative with 1,008 stocks closing higher compared to 1,563 ending lower on the BSE.
Shares of Cipla closed 5.3 percent higher after posting December-quarter results, while Tech Mahindra, which led gains in IT stocks after a strong quarterly performance, ended up 8 percent.
Only two of the 30 Sensex stocks ended in the red -- IndusInd Bank and Axis Bank, which slipped up to 0.54 per cent.
Bajaj Finance, Tata Steel, ONGC, Bajaj Auto, ICICI Bank, NTPC, Coal India, M&M and RIL led the winners' pack, spurting up to 4.34 per cent.
Broader indices, however, ended on a mixed note. The BSE Large Cap index rallied 1.13 per cent, mid-caps slipped 0.12 per cent and the small cap gauge inched up 0.05 per cent.
Sectorally, metal, IT, energy and auto led the rally, jumping up to 2.44 per cent.
"Domestic market rallied 1 per cent led by broad-based buying across sectors, Nifty breached its narrow trading band of 10650-10950 on expectation of a shift in RBI's policy stance and strong FII inflows. Additionally, drop in bond yield and marginal strength in rupee added strength to this expectation," said Vinod Nair, Head of Research, Geojit Financial Services.
Sustained buying by foreign institutional investors also propped up the indices at higher levels.
On a net basis, foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) bought shares worth a net of Rs 420.65 crore Tuesday, and domestic institutional investors (DIIs) were net buyers to the tune of Rs 194.31 crore, provisional data available with BSE showed.
Elsewhere in Asia, Japan's Nikkei rose 0.14 per cent. Bourses in China and Korea remained closed for the Lunar New Year holidays.
In the Eurozone, Frankfurt's DAX was down 0.43 per cent while Paris CAC 40 fell 0.40 per cent in late morning deals. London's FTSE shed 0.32 per cent.
The rupee, meanwhile, depreciated 5 paise against the US dollar to 71.62 intra-day.
The benchmark Brent crude futures fell 0.76 per cent to USD 61.51 per barrel.
With PTI inputs