Mumbai, Jun 28 - The Sensex rose for the third straight day today edging up 23 points, led by FMCG, power and PSU stocks, as Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and top officials are drawing a roadmap to revive the "animal spirit" in the economy.
The BSE benchmark index, which had gained 86 points in last two trading sessions, resumed slightly higher and hovered in a narrow range of 17,033.85 and 16,918.87. It finally closed at 16,990.76, up 23 points or 0.14 per cent.
In the 30-share Sensex, 15 counters including Tata Steel, Hero MotoCorp, NTPC, ITC, Coal India, Tata Power and TCS gained in the 1-1.8 per cent range.
After Prime Minister Singh yesterday called for "reviving the animal spirit" in the country's economy, Cabinet Secretary Ajit Seth reviewed the current situation with Finance Secretary R S Gujral, Economic Affairs Secretary R Gopalan, Commerce Secretary S R Rao, Industry Secretary Saurabh Chandra and Power Secretary P Uma Shankar, amongst others.
For the second day in a row, Sensex scaled the 17,000-mark but could not close above the level despite a firm sentiment as investors were seen selling to cover up their pending positions on expiry of June's derivative contracts.
Likewise, the NSE index Nifty moved between 5,159.05 and 5,125.30 before ending 7.25 points higher at 5,149.15.
"Sentiments improved domestically on reports of PM taking over the Finance portfolio and meeting senior officials to plan out economic revival steps. But, volatility associated with F&O expiry day was very much into play," said Shanu Goel, Senior Research Analyst, Bonanza Portfolio.
Dealers also said a weak global trend capped local shares' gains with European indices trading lower while Asian indices closed mixed as investors adopted a cautious stance ahead of a two-day EU leaders summit.
Meanwhile, the rupee was trading below the 57-level today against the dollar after closing at 57.15.
Asian stocks ended mixed ahead of the key two-day summit of the European Union to discuss the ongoing European debt crisis which begins today.
Key benchmark indices in Singapore, South Korea and Japan were up by 0.08 per cent to 1.65 per cent while indices in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan eased by 0.19 per cent to 0.95 per cent.
European stock markets reversed direction after positive start and key indices in France, UK and Germany declined by 0.93 per cent to 1.72 per cent.
Foreign institutional investors (FIIs) bought shares worth Rs 86.09 crore yesterday as per provisional data from the stock exchanges.
Out of the 30-share Sensex pack, major gainers included Tata Steel (1.83 pc), Hero MotoCorp (1.58 pc), NTPC (1.48 pc), ITC (1.47 pc), Coal India (1.43 pc), Tata Power (1.33 pc) and TCS (0.97 pc).
However, Gail India fell by 2.44 per cent, followed by Sterlite Industries (1.86 pc), Hindalco Industries (1.24 pc), Sun Pharma (1.08 pc) and SBI (0.85 pc).
Among the sectoral indices, the BSE-FMCG moved up by 0.82 per cent, followed bt the BSE-Power (0.38 pc), the BSE-PSU (0.31 pc) and the BSE-IT (0.22 pc).
However, the BSE-Oil&Gas eased by 0.73 per cent, the BSE-Bankex fell 0.32 per cent and the BSE-Consumer Durable shed 0.30 per cent.
The market breadth continued to rule firm as 1,461 shares finished higher while 1,312 scrips ended lower.
The total turnover rose to Rs 4,307.29 crore from Rs 1,634.90 crore yesterday. PTI