Domestic shares rose for a fourth consecutive session, helped by a rally in financial firms and optimism ahead of the Budget next week.

The Sensex gained 174.32 points or 0.63 per cent to 27,882.46 while the NSE Nifty rose 38.50 points or 0.45 per cent to 8,641.25.

The NSE index has risen 3.75 per cent so far this week. The 30-share Sensex gained 673.64 points in the previous three straight sessions.

Recent corporate results have been better than expected, analysts said, while investors are also anticipating giveaways and incentives to help nurse an economy hit by the shock ban on higher-value banknotes late last year.

“Results (at financial firms) have positively surprised the markets so far,” said Ankit Agarwal, fund manager and senior vice president at Centrum Wealth Management Ltd.

“The negative impact of demonetisation was probably not as bad as it was initially thought.”

Financial stocks led by Axis Bank, Housing Development Financial Corp and HDFC Bank contributed around 50 per cent to the gains on the NSE index on Friday.

ICICI Bank was the top gainer on the Sensex, adding up to 4.74 per cent. Bharti Airtel rose 3.82 per cent, NTPC gained 3.33 per cent, SBI 2.78 per cent and HDFC 2.6 per cent.

ITC was the top loser on the index, down by 2.78 per cent. Lupin (-1.77%), Wipro (-1.55%), HUL (-1.53%) and Asian Paints (-0.84%) were the other big losers.

All sectoral indices of BSE led by Power, telecom, oil and gas, banks and consumer durables ended in the positive zone, rising by up to 2.5 per cent.

The market was shut yesterday for the Republic Day.

Brokers added that investors were busy creating new positions following the beginning of the February futures and options (F&O) series that led to the rally in the market.

Moreover, data showing that foreign as well as domestic institutional investors made sizeable buying on Wednesday buoyed sentiment.

A firming trend in the rest of Asia led by Japan, tracking another record close in the US, accelerated buying activity at the domestic bourses here, they added.

China’s Shanghai market is closed today for a public holiday.

The US market ended 0.16 per cent higher yesterday.