After a weak opening, the Sensex staged a recovery today on the back of heavy buying in metal, realty, oil and banking stocks. The bulls were back in action by afternoon as the market registered sharp gains on the back of all-round buying support. Taking a cue from subdued Asian indices, the Sensex resumed 226 points below its previous close at 17,541. However, eruption of buying interest by afternoon saw the Sensex touch the day's high of 18,143, up 698 points from its day's low. The Sensex held firm in the later part of the trading session and finally closed at 18,115, up 349 points. The Nifty advanced 101 points to close at 5,303.

The breadth of the market was positive. Of the 2,793 stocks traded on the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), 1,976 stocks advanced, 769 stocks declined and 48 ended unchanged. Among the sectoral indices, the BSE Realty index, the BSE Metal index and the BSE Oil index rose over 3% each, while other indices closed with gains of 1-2% each.

Among the movers of the index, Hindalco soared 9.01% at Rs179, Tata Steel rose 5.12% at Rs819, Bajaj Auto scaled up 4.78% at Rs2,175, SBI added 4.21% at Rs2,298, Ranbaxy moved up by 4.20% at Rs396, HLL was up 3.86% at Rs211, M&M surged 3.21% at Rs619 and Reliance Industries gained 3.02% at Rs2,591. ICICI Bank, Tata Motors, HDFC, Cipla, ITC, DLF, HDFC Bank, NTPC, BHEL, Infosys, Wipro and L&T gained over 1-3% each. Maruti Suzuki, however, faced profit booking and lost 2.13% at Rs813, while Grasim declined 1.13% at Rs2,814. TCS, Ambuja Cement and Satyam Computer ended with marginal losses.

Over 2.95 crore RNRL shares changed hands on the BSE followed by Ispat Industries (1.76 crore shares), Reliance Petroleum (1.53 crore shares), IFCI (1.36 crore shares) and Reliance Power (1.17 crore shares).

Valuewise, Reliance Power registered a turnover of Rs444 crore followed by RNRL (Rs395 crore), Reliance Energy (Rs260 crore), Reliance Petroleum (Rs253 crore) and Reliance Capital (Rs241 crore).