Photographs: Ajay Verma/Reuters SI Reporter in Mumbai
Sentiment got a boost after US Federal Reserve's new chairperson Janet Yellen hinted at keeping the monetary policy unchanged under her leadership, in her first congressional testimony.
Yellen said the central bank plans to continue easing its stimulus program, adding it would take a notable change in economic data for the Fed to change its plans.
Fed's new chairperson however expressed her discomfort over an exceptionally high number of American citizens in part-time jobs and long-term unemployment.
The 30-share Bombay Stock Exchange Sensex added 85 points higher to 20448 levels and the 50-unit Nifty index of the National Stock Exchange added 21 points to close at 6,084 ahead of key macro economic data lined up ahead.
Market participants will now look for solace in the macro-economic data set to be released later in the day.
The Index of Industrial Production for December and the CPI (consumer price inflation) for combined, rural, and urban population in the month of January, by CSO, will point towards the direction the economy is headed.
The index was supported by buying in capital goods, oil & gas and banking stocks.
Among the sectoral indices on the BSE: Capital Goods index ended 1.5% higher, Oil & Gas was up 1.2% while BSE Bankex was up almost 1%.
ICICI Bank, Gail India, ONGC, Larsen & Toubro Reliance, BHEL, RIL and HDFC were the top Sensex gainers today ending 1-3% higher.
In the broader markets, the small and midcap indices underperformed the benchmarks today. The BSE mid-cap and small-cap indices ended flat against Sensex's 0.4% up-move.
Among other developments Railway ministry Mallikarjun Kharge presented the interim railway budget after the Lok Sabha resumed after being adjourned until afternoon on Wednesday.
Kharge announced inclusion of the north-eastern states of Meghalaya and Arunachal Pradesh on the railway map by FY15, which currently have very low railway connectivity.
The rail minister also announced the completion of the 11.2-kilometre-long banihal -qazigund rail link in Jammu & Kashmir, terming it as "landmark project".
The rupee rose to 62.04 versus its close of 62.22 on Tuesday on bunched-up dollar inflows. Gains in global risk assets hurt the dollar.
State-run banks were on a two-day strike starting Monday, leading to more dollar flows hitting the market on Wednesday.
Traders however see strong support around 62.05 levels holding the USD/INR pair in a 62.05 to 62.40 range during the day.