Extending gains for the third straight session, the benchmark Sensex surged about 160 points to 24,645.70 in early trade on Wednesday amid a firming trend at other Asian markets, tracking overnight gains in the US and Europe.
The 30-share index, which had gained 523.74 points in the previous two sessions, gained another 159.75 points, or 0.75 per cent, at 24,645.70, with sectoral indices led by power, healthcare, realty, auto and IT trading in the positive zone.
The NSE Nifty was also trading higher by 39.90 points, or 0.53 per cent, at 7,476.05. The market was closed yesterday for the Republic Day.
Brokers said buying activity picked up momentum largely in step with a firming trend at other Asian bourses and overnight gains in the US and European markets on the back of a rally in crude oil which kept mood upbeat.
Among other Asian markets, Japan's Nikkei climbed 2.02 per cent while Hong Kong's Hang Seng was trading higher by 0.47 per cent in early trade. Shanghai's Composite index was up 0.23 per cent.