The Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) Sensex shrugged off early inflation jitters to end up 0.72 percent, Friday, on news of stronger-than-expected growth in industrial output, which buoyed market sentiments.

The benchmark 30-share sensitivity index rose 112.54 points to close at 15,807.64, with 18 components ending in the green. It touched a high of 15,957.24 and a low of 15,673.67 during intraday trade.

The index, which hit a record high of 21,206.77 on Jan. 10, is down about 22 percent this year.

The Sensex surge was led by BHEL which recovered from Thurday's decline to end up 3.67 percent at Rs.1829.95.

Engineering and construction major Larsen & Toubro (L&T) and top listed firm Reliance Industries (RIL) gained 3.57 percent and 3.34 percent to Rs.2774 and Rs.2550.05 respectively. The two stocks contribute to almost a quarter of the weight of the index.

IT majors Satyam Computer Services and Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) climbed 2.30 percent and 0.82 percent to Rs.433.20 and Rs.908.15 respectively.

Auto majors Mahindra & Mahindra and Maruti Suzuki advanced 1.31 percent and 0.18 percent to Rs.620.25 and Rs.739.10 respectively.

In the banking and financial sector, State Bank of India, Housing Development Finance Corporation and HDFC Bank rose 0.36 percent, 0.17 percent and 0.03 percent to Rs.1667.90, Rs.1327.80 and Rs.2381.15 respectively.

Power majors Reliance Energy and NTPC ended up 2.22 percent and 0.27 percent to Rs.1281.15 and Rs.186.50 respectively.

Telecom giants Reliance Communications and Bharti Airtel surged 1.83 percent and 0.69 percent to Rs.493.25 and Rs.804.20 respectively.

Other stocks that gained were Hindalco (up 1.67 percent to Rs.176.35), Tata Steel (up 0.92 percent to Rs.692.20), Jaiprakash Associates (up 0.59 percent to Rs.214.05) and Cipla (up 0.07 percent to Rs.214.20).

The top loser of the day was Ambuja Cements which fell 3.61 percent to Rs.117.60.

IT majors Infosys Technologies and Wipro plunged 2.13 percent and 0.09 percent to Rs.1422.45 and Rs.406.30 respectively.

FMCG majors Hindustan Unilever (HUL) and ITC declined 2.02 percent and 1.83 percent to Rs.235.15 and Rs.204.15 respectively.

Other stocks to end in the red were Ranbaxy Laboratories (down 1.58 percent to Rs.443.55), ICICI Bank (down 1.56 percent to Rs.788.45), Grasim Industries (down 0.78 percent to Rs.2550), DLF (down 0.34 percent to Rs.598), Tata Motors (down 0.25 percent to Rs.622), ACC (down 0.22 percent to Rs.812.60) and ONGC (down 0.21 percent to Rs.1000.25).

Among the sectoral indices, Consumer Goods, Oil & Gas, and Power gained the most, rising 2.86 percent, 2.82 percent and 2.08 percent. PSU, Metal, Consumer Durables, Auto and TECk climbed in the range of 1.61-0.17 percent.

The FMCG, Bankex, IT, Realty and Healthcare counters ended down 1.29 percent, 0.64 percent, 0.47 percent, 0.29 percent, and 0.08 percent respectively.

The BSE Midcap and Smallcap indices ended on a positive note, climbing 0.68 percent and 0.63 percent to 6523.22 and 8081.43 respectively.

The BSE market breadth was overall positive as 1637 shares advanced, 1050 shares declined and 62 shares remained unchanged.

The broader 50-share S&P CNX Nifty index of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) rose 0.95 percent to 4,777.80, its highest close since Feb. 28. The index touched a high of 4,817.40 and low of 4,727.25 during intraday day.

The stock markets will be closed on Monday on account of a local holiday.

Market sentiments were boosted by strong growth in industrial production, analysts said, allowing the Sensex and the Nifty to end in the green for the weekend.

In spite of government data showing that inflation level has spiked to an uncomfortable level of 7.41 percent as at March 29, up sharply from 7.0 percent a week earlier, the Index of Industrial Production (IIP), the barometer of the industrial growth, rose 8.6 percent in February from a year earlier, beating market forecast of 7.9 percent and improving upon January's figure of 5.3 percent.

Investors think this is probably the worst possible scenario in terms of the rise in inflation, and things can only get better from this point, said Nipun Mehta, CEO, Unitis Tower Wealth. The focus is now shifting to corporate earnings.

Markets are uncertain and confused and are behaving in an erratic manner. Despite the inflation soaring to a new high the sentiments were positive, as the domestic negative news have already been discounted in the market and stocks have been oversold, said Rajesh Jain, vice president, SMC Global.

These data indicate probably the worst is over and things will start looking up from next week, said Daljeet Kohli, head of research at Emkay Shares & Stock Brokers Ltd. I don't see much downside in the market from this point.

Despite a strong opening, there was air of cautiousness ahead of inflation figures and IIP data. Market discounted inflation with a knee-jerk reaction but IIP numbers were a pleasant surprise, said Ambareesh Baliga, vice president, Karvy Stock Broking.

Market is in a consolidation phase. We have left most of the negatives behind, unless there are some rude shocks on the global markets front. It will be more an earnings driven market. We are not expecting a V-shaped recovery from here. For the next three weeks there will be stock and sector specific movement based on corporate earnings, he added.

Elsewhere in South Asia, Pakistan's Karachi 100 rose 0.82 percent to 15,340.89. In Sri Lanka, the share market was closed on Friday on account of a holiday.

The Asian markets continued the upward surge on Friday led by Japan's Nikkei 225, which soared 2.92 percent to 13,323.73. Hong Kong's Hang Seng gained 1.99 percent to 24,667.79; China's Shanghai Composite climbed 0.61 percent to 3492.89; Taiwan's Taiex advanced 0.91 percent to 8909.58; and South Korea's Kospi rose 0.85 percent to 1779.71.

Elsewhere, Singapore's Straits Times gained 2.03 percent to 3126.87; and Indonesia's Jakarta Composite gained 3.04 percent to 2303.93.

However, Malaysia's Kuala Lumpur Composite declined 0.11 percent to 1246.79.