Mumbai, Jan 8 (PTI) Benchmark equity indices ended higher for the third straight session Tuesday on widespread buying in banking stocks towards the fag end amid fresh inflows by foreign funds and positive global cues.

The BSE Sensex spurted 130.00 points to end at 35,980.93, while the broader NSE Nifty advanced 30.35 points to 10,802.15.

Both indices traded in the negative zone through most part of the session as investors booked profits in recent gainers amid weakness in the rupee due to rise in global crude prices.

However, with the emergence of buying towards the close of the session, Sensex wiped off losses and hit a high of 36,037.35 before settling 0.36 per cent higher.

The index had rallied 336.45 points in the previous two straight sessions.

The 50-share NSE Nifty settled 0.28 per cent higher. Intra-day, it touched a low of 10,733.25 and a high of 10,818.45.

According to Hemang Jani, Head – Advisory, Sharekhan by BNP Paribas, banking stocks remained in focus after the RBI governor Monday expressed satisfaction over the performance of the banking sector by saying bad loans have declined, particularly that of state-owned banks.

“Also the sharp moderation in bond yields should significantly boost the treasury performance of the banking sector,” he pointed out.

Market traded on a range-bound with a positive bias in which PSU banks led the gains on account of improving non-performing asset (NPA) resolution along with capital infusion and depressed valuation, said Vinod Nair, Head of Research, Geojit Financial Services.

Investors have some caution ahead of corporate earnings and a hope over ongoing US and China trade meeting, he added.

Earlier in the session, investors logged gains ahead of Q3 earnings of bluechip companies such as TCS and Infosys later this week amid fresh weakness in the rupee which again breached the Rs 70-mark against a dollar, traders said.

However, losses were capped on Central Statistics Office’s positive advanced estimates of national income for 2018-19.

The domestic economy is expected to grow at 7.2 per cent in 2018-19 against 6.7 per cent in the previous fiscal mainly due to improvement in the performance of agriculture and manufacturing sectors, the CSO had said Monday.

In the Sensex kitty, Sun Pharma was the top gainer, surging 3.98 per cent; followed by private lender ICICI Bank 3.46 per cent ahead of earnings.

Shares of Tata Motors surged 2.34 per cent largely on reports of strong JLR UK sales.

Other gainers include SBI, Yes Bank, Axis Bank, Bajaj Auto and IndusInd Bank, rising up to 3.18 per cent.

While losers include Kotak Bank, NTPC, HDFC, HUL, Bajaj Finance and M&M, falling up to 1.41 per cent.

Shares of Gruh Finance and Bandhan Bank tumbled Tuesday, with the former plunging 16.39 per cent following announcement of merger plans.

Fresh spell of buying by foreign institutional investors (FIIs) also buoyed trading sentiments, traders said.

Meanwhile, foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) bought shares worth a net Rs 736.18 crore, while domestic institutional investors (DIIs) sold shares to the tune of Rs 141.97 crore, while on Monday, provisional data showed.

Among Sectoral indices, bankex took the top position by climbing 1.31 per cent, followed by healthcare 0.98 per cent, PSU 0.65 per cent, metal 0.58 per cent, auto 0.39 per cent, Infrastructure 0.19 per cent, FMCG 0.13 per cent and teck 0.02 per cent.

While, capital goods, power, consumer durables, IT and oil & gas indices ended lower up to 0.35 per cent.

The broader markets depicted a mixed trend with the small-cap index rising 0.17 per cent while mid-cap index fell 0.16 per cent.

Globally, Asian shares rose as investors were optimistic about trade talks between Washington and Beijing amid dovish remarks from the US Federal Reserve.

In the Asian region, Japan’s Nikkei rose by 0.82 per cent, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gained 0.10 per cent.

Singapore’s index rose 0.57 per cent while the Shanghai Composite index shed 0.26 per cent. Korea’s KOSPI fell 0.58 per cent.

European markets were trading higher in late morning deals with Paris CAC rising by 0.35 per cent while Frankfurt’s DAX up 0.27 per cent. London’s FTSE too rose 0.28 per cent.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.