After taking a day's breather, markets on Thursday continued their upward journey with the benchmark Sensex rebounding over 68 points while the Nifty edged up 15 points on buying in pharma, FMCG, banking and auto shares amid sustained foreign fund inflows.
In volatile movements, the 30-share BSE index opened firm at 29,436.77 and then rose to touch the day's high of 29,518.32 in early trade.
However, it slipped into the negative terrain on across-the-board profit-booking. Buying by participants in the last 30 minutes of trading helped the index bounce back to close 68.22 points, or 0.23 per cent, higher at 29,448.95.
Intra day, it had slipped to a low of 29,162.47 due to selling in metal, IT and capital goods, oil and gas scrips.
On Wednesday, the Sensex lost 213 points on profit-booking after breaching the historic 30,000-mark to hit a lifetime high of 30,024.74 following a surprise rate cut by the RBI.
In four straight trading sessions (February 27, 28, March 2 and 3), the Sensex had gained 847.08 points on the back of strong FII inflows following a growth-oriented Budget.
The 50-share NSE Nifty recovered 15.19 points, or 0.17 per cent, to close at 8,937.75 after shuttling between 8,957.55 and 8,849.35 intra-day.
It had shed 73.60 points on Wednesday after touching its all-time high of 9,119.20. The recovery in the Sensex and the Nifty was supported by gains in Sun Pharma that climbed 3.24 per cent, while Cipla surged 1.81 per cent.
Hindustan Unilever surged 2.49 per cent and HDFC Bank rose 1.87 per cent among the Sensex gainers.
Other bluechip gainers which helped indices to close in positive zone were HDFC, Dr Reddy's, M&M, Wipro and Axis Bank.
Shares of Reliance Infrastructure rose over 3 per cent after it announced acquisition of controlling stake in Pipavav Defence and Offshore Engineering for up to Rs 2,082.3 crore.
Stocks of steel companies, however, remained under selling pressure on continued profit-booking, brokers said. Hindalco suffered by the most by falling 3.69 per cent, Tata Steel fell 1.57 per cent and Sesa Sterlite was down 1.51 per cent.
The broader markets also performed on revival of buying. The BSE Mid-cap and Small-cap indices rose up to 0.74 per cent. Meanwhile, Foreign Portfolio Investors bought shares worth a net Rs 2,786.24 crore on Wednesday.