Mumbai, Apr 9 (PTI) Rising for a third consecutive session, the BSE benchmark Sensex firmed up by another 162 points to hit a nearly four-week high of 33,788 on intense buying in banking and FMCG shares as investors appeared confident in view of robust macro outlook and firm global cues.

Overall market sentiment remained buoyant after the Reserve bank last week revised the growth projection upwards for the current fiscal to 7.4 per cent and lowered the inflationary forecast to 4.7-5.1 per cent for the first half of FY 2018-19.

A firm trend in other Asian markets and a higher opening of European shares on easing concerns about a sharp rise in US interest rates also helped boost sentiment.

Participants are also keenly awaiting the start of the quarterly earnings season, which is expected to set the tone of the market for the next few weeks. On coming Friday, IT major Infosys will announce its results for the January-March quarter.

“Market extended gains tracking positive cues from Asian and European peers on account of lower-than-expected US non-farm payrolls easing concerns about sharp rise in US interest rates. Benign inflation, expectation of lower crude oil prices on higher production from the US and good monsoon in India will provide support to the market,” Vinod Nair, Head of Research, Geojit Financial Services Ltd, said.

Investors’ focus is being shifted to upcoming results while industrial output data and retail inflation numbers will determine the trajectory of the market for the week, he added.

The 30-share Sensex opened strong and continued to rise on persistent buying activity and hit a high of 33,846.50 but profit-taking at the fag-end trimmed gains to some extent and finally settled at 33,788.54, a gain of 161.57 points, or 0.48 per cent.

The barometer has gained nearly 770 points in the last three sessions, helping the Sensex scale nearly four-week high level today. The previous best closing for the index was 33,835.74, hit on March 14.

The 50-share NSE Nifty too stayed in the green for most part of the session and hit a high of 10,397.70 today before closing at 10,379.35, up 47.75 points, or 0.46 per cent.

Meanwhile, domestic institutional investors bought shares worth Rs 1,305.45 crore, while foreign portfolio investors sold stocks of Rs 524.85 crore on Friday, as per provisional data of stock exchanges.

In the Sensex pack, Axis Bank topped the gainers’ list by surging 3.44 per cent, followed by M&M at 2.15 per cent.

Other major gainers that supported the key indices were ITC Ltd (2.05 per cent), IndusInd Bank (1.90 per cent), Hind Unilever (1.18 per cent), L&T (1.16 per cent), Asian Paints (1.14 per cent), Maruti Suzuki (0.91 per cent), ONGC (0.85 per cent), HDFC Bank (0.80 per cent), RIL (0.69 per cent), Yes Bank (0.60 per cent), HDFC Ltd (0.38 per cent), SBI (0.29 per cent),Wipro (0.18 per cent), Hero MotoCorp (0.16 per cent) and Tata Steel (0.03 per cent).

Among the losers, Infosys fell the most (1.62 per cent), followed by Tata Motors (1.53 per cent), Bharti Airtel (1.21 per cent), TCS (0.97 per cent), Bajaj Auto (0.45 per cent), Power Grid (0.41 per cent), Adani Ports (0.34 per cent) and Sun Pharma (0.30 per cent).

Sector-wise, consumer durables rose 1.70 per cent, oil & gas 1.52 per cent, FMCG 1.15 per cent, bankex 0.90 per cent, PSU 0.79 per cent, capital goods 0.67 per cent, infrastructure 0.37 per cent, auto 0.27 per cent, metal 0.19 per cent and power 0.14 per cent.

However, teck, IT, healthcare and realty fell by up to 0.99 per cent.

The BSE Small-Cap index rose 0.38 per cent, while the Mid-Cap index gained 0.16 per cent.

Globally, Asian markets ended higher. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng rose 1.29 per cent, while Shanghai Composite Index inched up 0.23 per cent. Japan’s Nikkei too rose 0.51 per cent.

In the Eurozone, Frankfurt’s DAX 30 index climbed almost 0.93 per cent and Paris CAC 40 gained 0.51 per cent

in the early session. London’s benchmark FTSE 100 index of major blue-chip companies added 0.19 per cent.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.