Markets end higher on rate-cut hopes: Benchmark indices have closed firm, amid volatile trading session, supported by strong buying among rate-sensitive sectors mainly financials and auto after retail inflation softened further to a four-month low of 4.87% in April giving rise to hopes of a rate-cut by the RBI. The 30-share Sensex ended 373.62 points higher at 27,251.10 and the 50-share Nifty gained 108.50 points at 8,235.45. Among broader markets, BSE Mid-cap and Small-cap indices were up 1-2%. Market breadth in BSE ended positive with 1,640 advances against 1,054 declines. On the currency front, the rupee is lingering at 64.05 per dollar, though the traders reckoned the RBI spent an addition $500 million the previous day.