Sensex ends 181 pts higher; oil & gas, financials, IT lead

The benchmark Nifty traded above 5300 since the beginning of trade but profit booking in last half an hour of trade forced index to end tad below that level. It has been in range of 5200-5300 for last three weeks, as a part of consolidation.

The markets are liked to trade rangebound going forward, said Vibhav Kapoor of IL&FS. He sees the upside and floor for the Nifty capped at 5,400-5,500 and 4,900-5,000.

Short covering as well as positive global cues helped the markets to stay strong for the whole day. European markets were trading 0.4-1.2% higher following positive cues from US markets on Wednesday. Wall Street rallied 3% yesterday led by financials; State Street (world's second-largest custody bank) gained 10% after it forecasted its 2Q operating earnings would beat analysts' expectations.

Even Asian markets also ended higher; Nikkei gained 2.76%. Hang Seng, Straits Times, Kospi and Taiwan Weighted were up 1-1.4%. However, only Shanghai fell 0.25%. Markets were also eyeing for interest rate decision from BOE and ECB.

The 30-share BSE Sensex closed at 17,651.73, up 180.70 points or 1.03% and the 50-share NSE Nifty rose 55.75 points or 1.06% to settle at 5,296.85.

Deven Choksey of KR Choksey said the Nifty is likely to cross 5,400 levels. "There are a lot of factors which suggest that the market has to move up from current levels. The rupee staying at around 47 to the dollar is an invitation for foreign inflow to come into the market. The spread of monsoon and the prospects of inflation reducing are positives. We should be seeing earnings surprise coming in from this quarter as well. I feel we may cross 5,400. It is a matter of time, whether it happens before the earning season or after the earning season I do not know."