The benchmark BSE Sensex on Wednesday rose by 87 points to close at all-time high of 21,337.67 on buying sentiment buoyed by promising corporate earnings and hopes of a rate cut next week by the Reserve Bank.
The 30-share BSE barometer moved in a narrow range till later afternoon deals. But buying at the fag-end lifted Sensex to its life-time closing high of 21,337.67, a rise of 86.55 points or 0.41 %, completing three straight days of gains.
In thee sessions, the key index has jumped by 247.05 points or 1.30% The previous closing high was 21,326.42 points, recorded on December 9, 2013.
Jignesh Chaudhary, Head Of Research, Veracity Broking Services, however, said: "Markets are going to follow a cautious approach in trading ahead of RBI policy review meet
scheduled on January 28."
Buying interest in RIL, Sun Pharma, ICICI Bank, Bharti Airtel, Tata Steel, HUL, M&M mainly kept market tempo upbeat.
Broader 50-issue NSE Nifty also improved by 25.15 points to log its second highest closing of 6,338.95. Its record closing high was 6,363.90 points on December 9, 2013.
Major Sensex gainers were Sun Pharma at 2.85 %, Tata Steel 2.28 %, Hindalco Ind 2.04 %, Bharti Airtel 1.56 %, NTPC 1.38 %, M&M 1.25 %, Dr Reddy's Lab 1.17 %, Cipla 1.15 % and Wipro 1.04 %.
SBI, however, eased by 0.77 %, while Larsen lost 0.65 % and Hero Motocorp 0.60 %.
Better third quarter results by corporates and positive global cues boosted investor sentiment, a trader said.
The market breadth continued to remain positive as 1,407 stocks rose, 1,272 declined and 156 ruled steady. Total turnover moved up further to Rs 1,905.14 crs from Rs 1,888.43 crore yesterday.
Healthcare sector index rose the most by adding 1.31 per cent to 10,317.28, followed by metal index by 0.93 % to
Brokers said markets received a push on firming trends in the Asian region and higher opening in Europe on signs of improving global economy.
"A positive rupee, which although a bit weak in the morning, revived in the afternoon due to aggressive dollar selling by banks also helped equity markets to consolidate its strong position," Chaudhury said.
Foreign institutional investors (FIIs) turned net sellers and offloaded shares net a worth Rs 43.74 crores yesterday, as per the provisional figures issued by stock exchanges.
On global front, Asian markets, except Singapore, ended higher today. Key indices from China, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan closed up in the range of 0.16 % and 2.16 %.
European markets were also slightly better in their early trade as Chinese shares advanced the most in two months on falling money-market rates. Key indices in France and UK were up by 0.05 % and 0.16 %, while Germany's DAX was quoted lower by 0.03 %.