Beaten down Indian stocks were the best performers among Asian and European peers on Tuesday as traders covered up short positions ahead of the monthly expiry of derivatives contracts.

Stocks have been falling consistently since December 14 owing to the lack of buying support from local players and scattered selling by foreign funds in the cash markets. However, traders took advantage of this opportunity and pressed heavy short sales on front line stock futures. These transactions need to reversed before Thursday, which marks the end of the monthly derivatives cycle.

Sustained selling in December saw the major benchmarks slip to 7-month lows and wipe out all gains for 2016.

Here are the major events of the trading day:

*The Nifty build up fresh gains, trading 68 points higher at 7,976. The index is just a notch above its level touched on December 31st, 2015.

*ITC, Eicher Motors, Lupin, Tata Steel and Aurobindo Pharma rose between 1.9-2.8 per cent and were among 42 shares that advanced on the Nifty.

*GAIL, Hero MotorCorp, IndusInd Bank, Idea Cellular and Tata Power fell 0.5-1.3 per cent, and were among 9 stocks that slipped on the index.

*The Sensex rose 221 points to 26,028 points on the Bombay Stock Exchange. ITC was the top gainer; Hero MotoCorp lost the most and Reliance Industries was the top traded share.

*Bharat Financial, Divis Labs and Reliance Industries were the most active shares by value.

*Heavy trade was witnessed on DLF, IDFC Bank and ITC and they were the most traded shares by volume.

*The Nifty Mid Cap index was the top gainer, up 1.2 per cent; Broader benchmarks rose between 0.7-0.8 per cent.

*The rally spread across the board with all sectoral indices adding 0.1-1.1 per cent.

*Bulls pranced about on Dalal Street where 1,533 shares rose versus 915 that declined.

*The mood was even more festive in the derivatives segment where 147 futures advanced compared with just 29 that fell.