The Indian equity benchmarks gained for third day in a row on Tuesday on the back of buying interest in information technology heavyweights like HCL Technologies, Infosys, Wipro and Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) a day ahead of their December quarter earnings. The Sensex rose as much as 294 points and Nifty 50 index touched an intraday high of 18,081 and low of 17,964.
The Sensex rose 221 points to close at 60,617 and Nifty 50 index advanced 52 points to close at 18,056.
IT shares witnessed buying interest on the back of expectations of strong December quarter earnings which will begin from tomorrow, analysts said.
Among the individual shares, Vodafone Idea fell as much as 19 per cent after the debt-ridden firm announced converting about Rs 16,000 crore interest dues liability payable to the government into equity.
Eight of 15 sector gauges compiled by the National Stock Exchange ended higher led by the Nifty IT index's 1 per cent gain. Nifty Bank, Financial Services, Realty and Oil & Gas shares also witnessed buying interest.
On the other hand, Metal, FMCG, PSU Bank and Consumer Durable indexes ended lower.
Mid- and small-cap shares ended flat as Nifty Midcap 100 index and Nifty Smallcap 100 indexes rose nearly 0.1 per cent.
HCL Technologies was top Nifty gainer, the stock rose 4.5 per cent to close at Rs 1,346. Adani Ports, HDFC, Tech Mahindra, ONGC, Divi's Labs, Tata Consultancy Services, Reliance Industries, Tata Consumer Products and Grasim Industries also rose between 0.6-3.5 per cent.
On the flipside, JSW Steel, Tata Steel, Bharat Petroleum, Hindalco, Coal India, Bajaj Finance, Eicher Motors, Indian Oil, HDFC Life, Dr Reddy's Labs, Britannia Industries and ITC were among the losers.
The overall market breadth was positive as 1,935 shares ended higher while 1,510 closed lower on the BSE.