The Sensex and Nifty advanced on Monday owing to strong gains in the banking and financial stocks.

PSU Bank Nifty surged by 2.05 per cent after reports that the Finance Ministry is planning to launch an exchange-traded fund (ETF) consisting of stocks of PSU banks and financial institutions this fiscal.

Besides, Rusmik Oza, Head – Fundamental Research, Kotak Securities, told IANS that banks were expected to do well.

“We expect the upcoming earning results to be strong and also the RBI may go for a rate cut in its next policy meet in order to spur growth,” Oza said.

The BSE Sensex ended 248.57 points or 0.63 per cent higher to 39,683.29 after touching an intra-day high of 39,821.94 and a low of 39,353.16. The Nifty advanced by 80.65 or 0.68 per cent to 11,924.75.

Realty sectors stocks also closed higher by 2.18 per cent over expectations that the Narendra Modi government will focus on this sector to spur growth, said Saurabh Jain, AVP-Research, SMC Global.

Shares of NTPC closed more than 3 per cent up after the state-run power giant posted a 48.7 per cent increase in its standalone net profit in Q4.

Zee Entertainment closed 4.2 per cent lower ahead of its fourth quarter FY 19 earnings which were due Monday.

Globally, Deepak Jasani of HDFC Securities said that most Asian markets ended in the positive led by China. European indices like FTSE, DAX and CAC traded in the green.

Europian shares rose after centrists lost ground to pro-business and environmentalist groups in elections for the 28-nation bloc’s parliamentary assembly, Jasani added.