Continuing its record-setting spree, the benchmark Sensex today hit a new lifetime high and gained 300 points to end above 22,000-level for the first time as foreign funds bought bluechips led by interest-rate sensitive shares on hopes RBI will hold rates in its upcoming review.
The BSE Sensex climbed to hit a new intra-day peak of 22,074.34 on the back fo heavy buying. It also ended at a record closing of 22,055.48, up 300.16 points, or 1.38 per cent. Its previous closing peak was 21,934.83 on March 10 while its intra-day peak was 22,040.72 set on March 18, 2014.
GAIL and ONGC with over 4 per cent gain each led the 24 losers in 30-share Sensex. Major supporters were RIL, ITC, ICICI Bank, SBI, Hero MotoCorp, Hindustan Unilever and TCS. Nine out of 12 BSE sectoral indices ended in the green. Banking, oil & gas, metal and auto shares notched up smart rise. Consumer durables, IT and healthcare, however, fell. The 50-share NSE barometer also hit a new peak of 6,591.50, before ending at a record close of 6,583.50 --clocking a gain of 88.60 points or 1.36%.
Jayant Manglik, President-retail distribution, Religare Securities said, "The much awaited breakout was triggered mainly by the buoyancy in banking counters as investors have started eyeing the RBI policy review scheduled on April 1. Majority expects there would be no change in policy rates." Mirroring rise in stocks, Indian rupee hit 60.64 levels against the dollar, amid firming trend in global markets.
Investments into Indian shares through participatory notes, a preferred route for HNIs and hedge funds from abroad, surged to the highest level in three months at around Rs 1.73 lakh crore in February, latest data showed. Sectorally, the BSE Banking sector index gained the most by surging 2.73%, followed by Oil and Gas index (2.46 per cent), Metal index (0.97%), Auto (0.91%) and Capital Goods (0.83%).