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BSE Sensex surges past 17,000

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The Sensex rose 1.5 percent on Wednesday to close above the 17,000 mark for the first time since May 2008.

The rise in the benchmark was led by SBI, Maruti Suzuki, BHEL and ICICI Bank. INDIA-STOCKS/

On the sectoral front, the banking sector led the indices gaining 3.6 percent followed by the Auto index, which rose 2.1 percent. The Capital Goods ended 1.7 percent higher.

India’s benchmark index hit a 16-month high last week. It has gained over 70 percent in the current year and almost 18 percent in September quarter.

Among sectors, the banking index rose over 70 percent in 2009 while the auto index surged over 170 percent.

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