Mumbai, Apr 17 (PTI) Surging for the ninth straight session, the BSE Sensex gained about 90 points to close at 34,395 today as stocks made further headway powered by normal monsoon forecast and positive trend in Europe.

This is the longest winning run since September 2014.

Sentiments remained upbeat after the Meteorological Department yesterday forecast that the country will receive “normal” monsoon rainfall this year, raising hopes of higher farm output and a boost for the rain-dependent rural economy, brokers said.

Power, realty, FMCG, consumer durables, metal, infrastructure, PSU and oil and gas and banking stocks emerged

front-runners on sustained buying by participants.

However, IT, teck, healthcare and auto saw profit-booking.

Mixed trend in other Asian markets and higher opening in European shares following a positive lead from Wall Street also influenced sentiment. US stocks showed signs of consolidation as the first-quarter earnings season pointed to strong growth and geopolitical tensions appeared easing.

The 30-share Sensex opened on a strong footing and

forged ahead to hit the day’s high of 34,434.14 as buying momentum picked up.

But gains were trimmed due to profit-booking at higher levels and the barometer slipped into a negative zone to touch a low of 34,229.83 before settling 89.63 points, or 0.26 per cent, higher at 34,395.06, its highest level since February 26 when it settled at 34,445.75.

The gauge had gained 1,286.36 points in the previous eight sessions.

On similar lines, the NSE Nifty gathered 20.35 points, or 0.19 per cent, to close at 10,548.70, after moving in the range of 10,560.45 and 10,495.65.

Stocks of jewellery and ornament makers turned buyers’ fancy ahead of ‘Akshya Tritiya’ tomorrow, considered as an auspicious for buying precious metals.

Meanwhile, foreign portfolio investors sold shares worth Rs 308.13 crore on a net basis, while domestic institutional investors sold equities to the tune of Rs 28.97 crore yesterday, provisional data showed.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.