Dalal Street was in a festive mood today with benchmark indices closing higher on Thursday, a day ahead of the Holi celebration. The domestic bourses extended rally for the third straight session, tracking strong cues from Asian peers and a positive finish at Wall Street overnight after a widely anticipated U.S. interest rate hike. The ease in crude prices amid hopes about Russia-Ukraine peace talks as well as a surge in buying by foreign portfolio investors also boosted market sentiment. The market will remain closed on Friday on account of Holi.

The 30-share Sensex ended at 57,864, up 1,047 points or 1.84%, and the Nifty50 added 312 points, or 1.84%, to settle at 17,287. In line with the benchmark indices, the broader markets also ended in positive terrain. The BSE midcap and smallcap indices closed with more than 1% gain each.

The overall market strength was strong, with 2,222 shares rising out of 3,778 traded shares. As many as 1,415 shares declined, and 141 remained unchanged.

“Global markets welcomed the Fed decision to hike rates by 25 basis points as it was on expected lines. However, the Fed’s projection of another six hikes during the year is hawkish,” says Vinod Nair, Head of Research at Geojit Financial Services.

“FIIs turning net buyers after a long wait was also a relief for the domestic market. With crude prices receding, war tensions calming down and foreign investors back to buying, we can expect the rally in the domestic market to continue,” he added.

Top gainers and losers

Barring Infosys and HCL Tech, all top heavyweights in the BSE Sensex pack closed higher. Mortgage lender Housing Development Finance Corporation (HDFC) topped the chart by rising 5.5%.

The other top performers include Titan Company, Kotak Mahindra Bank, Reliance Industries and Asian Paints, which rose up to 4.5%.

The top loser on the BSE Sensex pack was Infosys, the country’s second largest software exporter, which ended 1.8% lower. It was followed by HCL Technologies with a 0.23% loss.

Barring IT and tech, all sectors end in green

The market saw broad-based selling with all sectoral indices, barring IT and technology, closing in green. Realty and consumer durable indices were among the best performers.

The BSE realty index emerged as the top performer on the sectoral front with a 3.14% gain. The gain in real estate space was led by Brigade Enterprises, Macrotech Developers, Prestige Estates Projects, Godrej Industries and DLF.

The realty index was followed by the consumer durable sector, which closed 2.73% higher, led by Whirlpool of India, Titan Company, Bajaj Electricals, Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail and Amber Enterprises India.

Asian markets end mostly higher, European stocks skid

Shares in the Asia-Pacific region closed mostly higher today following strong cues from Wall Street, while European stocks edged lower in early deals. Asian markets got a boost after the Chinese government vowed to support economic growth, while optimism about progress in Russia-Ukraine peace talks also supported the market.

In the Asia-Pacific region, Japan’s benchmark index Nikkei 225 closed 3.46% higher following an overnight rally on Wall Street. South Korea’s KOSPI jumped 1.3% and the Hang Seng index in Hong Kong ended 7% higher, extending the rally for the third day.

In a similar fashion, the Straits Times Index in Singapore gained 1%, Taiwan Weighted index rallied 3%, and Thailand’s SET Composite added 0.8%.

In mainland China, the Shenzhen Component surged 2.4%, while the Shanghai Composite gained 1.4%.

Meanwhile, European markets tumbled in opening trade despite the ease in commodity prices amid ongoing peace talks between Russia and Ukraine to end the conflict between two countries. Germany’s DAX dropped 0.4% and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 index slipped 0.0.3% in early deals. France’s CAC index traded flat, while Spain’s IBEX 35 fell 0.4%.

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube & Instagram to never miss an update from Fortune India. To buy a copy, visit Amazon.