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Sensex rallies 595 points; Nifty tops 9,450 (Representative image)

Equity benchmark Sensex rallied 595 points on Thursday, tracking gains in index-heavyweights HDFC twins, Reliance Industries, L&T and ICICI Bank amid positive cues from global markets.

Extending its gains for the second session, the 30-share index hit a high of 32,267.23 points during the day ahead of the expiry of May derivatives contracts. It finally ended 595.37 points or 1.88 per cent higher at 32,200.59.

Similarly, NSE Nifty jumped 175.15 points or 1.88 per cent to 9,490.10.

L&T was the top gainer in the Sensex pack, spurting over 6 per cent, followed by Hero MotoCorp, HDFC Bank, IndusInd Bank, Maruti, HDFC and HCL Tech.

On the other hand, ITC, SBI and Bharti Airtel ended in the red.

Benchmarks witnessed a broad-based rally on account of short-covering by market participants as May derivatives expired at the end of the session, analysts said.

Further, domestic investors took positive cues from most global markets amid optimism over the reopening of major economies across the world.

Benchmarks in Shanghai and Tokyo ended with gains, while Hong Kong and Seoul settled in the red.

Stock exchanges in Europe began on a positive note, rising up to 1 per cent.

International oil benchmark Brent crude futures rose 0.92 per cent to USD 34.92 per barrel.

On the currency front, the rupee settled 5 paise down at 75.76 against the US dollar.

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