Indian equity benchmarks made a positive start to Samvat 2078, the Hindu New Year, in the special Muhurat Trading session to mark the festival of Diwali. The Sensex rose as much as 436 points and Nifty 50 index touched an intraday high of 17,947 as traders and investors made customary trades to mark the auspicious occasion. In the one-hour long session, HDFC Bank, Reliance Industries, ITC, Kotak Mahindra Bank and Mahindra & Mahindra were among the top movers in the Sensex, which saw twenty five out of 30 shares close on a positive note.The Sensex ended 296 points or 0.5 per cent higher at 60,068 and Nifty 50 index advanced 88 points to close at 17,917.For the trading communities the new financial year begins with the next day after Diwali. That is the reason pooja is performed for account books, safes and tijoris on Dhanteras as well as on Diwali day. A coin is placed on the account books before the pooja which is supposed to signify wealth, and the coin is preserved and again used in the pooja in the next Diwali, BSE said.Meanwhile, buying was visible across the sectors as all the 19 sector gauges, barring the measure of metal stocks, on the BSE ended higher led by the S&P Auto index’s over 1.5 per cent gain.Consumer Discretionary Goods & Services, FMCG, Healthcare, Industrials, Telecom, Capital Goods, Consumer Durables, and Oil & Gas indices rising between 0.55-1.15 per cent.Mid- and small-cap shares also witnessed buying interest as S&P BSE MidCap index rose 0.73 per cent and S&P BSE SmallCap index advanced 1.4 per cent.Eicher Motors was top Nifty gainer, the stock rose 6 per cent to close at Rs 2,670 after the maker of popular Royal Enfield motorcycle on Wednesday reported net profit Rs 373.20 crore compared with Rs 343.34 crore in the same quarter last year, marking an increase of 9 per cent. Its revenue from operations advanced 5 per cent annually to Rs 2,216 crore.Mahindra & Mahindra was top gainer in the 30-share Sensex index, the stock rose 2.7 per cent to close at Rs 872. ITC, Bajaj Auto, Larsen & Toubro, Kotak Mahindra Bank, Nestle India, Sun Pharma, IndusInd Bank, Tech Mahindra and HDFC Bank also rose between 0.8-1.8 per cent.On the flipside, Dr Reddy’s Labs, HDFC, Asian Paints, UltraTech Cement and ICICI Bank were among the notable losers.The overall market breadth was positive as 2,578 shares ended higher while 529 closed lower on the BSE.