Sensex up 54 points

Mumbai: The BSE benchmark Sensex today gained 153.64 points to close at 16,939.28 on value buying by funds in blue-chips, especially in the IT and auto sectors, and a firm global trend amid hopes that euro-zone debt troubles may ease soon.

Fag-end selling wiped off early gains as investors reduced their positions on the eve of monthly settlement in the derivatives segment and the Reserve Bank of India policy meeting on interest hike. The gauge touched an intra-day high of 17,104.88 points.

The broad-based National Stock Exchange index Nifty gained 48.40 points to 5,098.35, after rising to 5,145.65 with stocks of Reliance Industries, Infosys and the auto sector. RIL shot up by 1.30 per cent, and Infosys by 1.65 per cent.

Brokers said that despite a better trend in the overseas markets, the investor confidence remained jittery, as the monthly derivative contracts settlement has been brought forward by two days to October 25 due to Diwali Holidays. Asian and European markets were firm as EU leaders said they have made "good progress" towards resolving the euro-zone sovereign debt crisis.

In the auto sector, Bajaj Auto spurted 3.12 per cent, Tata Motors 4.44 per cent and Maruti Suzuki by 1.46 per cent. In a brief trading week, the market will open on Wednesday for a special Diwali`s `Muhurat` trading between 1630 and 1800 hrs, and will remain close on Thursday.