MUMBAI : Key Indian equity indices on Wednesday scaled record highs yet again as positive global cues, coupled with a strong rupee and robust buying activities in banking, metals and FMCG stocks, gave a boost to investor sentiments.
According to market observers, expectations of upbeat quarterly results, as well as the latest report that India for the first time has moved into the top 100 in the World Bank's Ease of Doing Business global rankings riding on sustained government reforms, added to the upward trajectory of the indices.
Both the indices breached their earlier record levels, both on closing and intra-day basis, scaled on October 30.
The broader Nifty50 of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) breached the 10,400-mark for the first time and stayed above that level on closing basis.
The Nifty50 rose by 105.20 points, or 1.02 per cent, to close at a fresh high of 10,440.50 points -- cracking its earlier closing high level of 10,363.65 points.
On an intra-day basis, the Nifty50 scaled a new high of 10,451.65 points, surpassing its previous high of 10,384.50 points.
The barometer 30-scrip Sensitive Index (Sensex) of the BSE too closed at a fresh high of 33,600.27 points -- surging 387.14 points or 1.17 per cent -- higher than its earlier record closing at 33,266.16 points.
The Sensex touched a high of 33,651.52 points during intra-day trade, breaching its previous record high of 33,340.17 points.
The BSE market breadth was bullish -- 1,516 advances and 1,274 declines.
"The Nifty closed above the 10,400 level for the first time. Banking and telecom stocks were in limelight. The Nifty witnessed a gap-up opening before touching new life highs as the session progressed," Deepak Jasani, Head - Retail Research, HDFC Securities, told IANS.
"Market sentiments were boosted by the latest World Bank report, which elevated India by 30 notches at 100 in the World Bank's Ease of Doing Business rankings. Positive global cues also supported the rally," he added.
The broader market indices underperformed the BSE Sensex. The S&P BSE mid-cap index closed higher by 0.35 per cent and the small-cap index by 0.55 per cent.
Vinod Nair, Head of Research, Geojit Financial Services, said: "Market extended gain on account of continued buying in banks in expectation of credit growth and negating the concern on premium valuation. Telecom stocks are gaining positive sentiment in view of attaining attractive competition after tariff revision by key players."
"Further, positive global cues and expectation of unchanged policy outcome from today's (Wednesday's) FED meet is providing a better way to the domestic market."
On the currency front, the rupee strengthened by 15-16 paise to close at 64.59-60 against the US dollar from its previous close at 64.75.
"The benchmark indices ended the day at record highs on Wednesday after the index heavyweight Bharti Airtel hit its highest in nearly a decade post its September quarter numbers. Traders await the start of central bank meetings and the nomination of the next Fed chair," Dhruv Desai, Director and Chief Operating Officer of Tradebulls, told IANS.
"Strong moves on banks -- PSUs and private -- along with metals, FMCG, and infrastructure stocks also added to the sentiment," he added.
Sector-wise, the S&P BSE banking index surged by 568.76 points, followed by metal index by 277.96 points and FMCG index by 136.20 points.
On the other hand, the S&P BSE consumer durables index fell by 112.86 points, automobile index by 52.03 points and healthcare index by 22.92 points.
Major Sensex gainers on Wednesday were: Bharti Airtel, up 8.19 per cent at Rs 538.40; State Bank of India, up 4.58 per cent at Rs 319.80; ICICI Bank, up 4.42 per cent at Rs 313.20; HDFC, up 2.58 per cent at Rs 1,751.35; and Axis Bank, up 2.05 per cent at Rs 533.75.
Major Sensex losers were: Dr Reddy's Lab, down 2.90 per cent at Rs 2,360.90; Power Grid, down 1.06 per cent at Rs 210.50; Hero MotoCorp, down 0.99 per cent at Rs 3,816.45; Sun Pharma, down 0.89 per cent at Rs 548.45; and Bajaj Auto, down 0.60 per cent at Rs 3,240.50.