The benchmark Sensex today extended gains by rising 67 points to end near its record close on sustained buying driven by positive global cues. Thawing of Ukraine crisis and upbeat economic data from China helped domestic markets, said traders.
After gaining 263.08 points in the previous session, the Sensex advanced 67.13 points, or 0.32%, to end at 21,276.86, a fresh six-week high.
At this level, the index is just 100 points away from its record closing high of 20,376.56 on February 7. ICICI Bank, whose shares jumped 2.7%, alone contributed about 41 points to Sensex's 67.13-point rise.
Seventeen stocks gained in 30-share Sensex while 13 ended lower. Major Sensex gainers include SBI, Infosys, Axis Bank, HDFC, Maruti Suzuki, L&T, ONGC, Sun Pharma and Cipla. The 50-share NSE index Nifty crossed key 6,300 level by adding 30.70 poins, or 0.49%, to end at 6,328.65.
"Strength in global markets and positive economic data from China has boosted market sentiment. Sentiment shall also be impacted pre-elections and market may continue to show volatility ahead of the main elections time," said Rakesh Goyal, Senior Vice President, Bonanza Portfolio.
Election Commission announced dates for the high-stakes Lok Sabha elections to be held between April 7 and May 12. Market sentiment remained bullish for the second day as fears of an imminent military conflict in Ukraine eased.
Overseas investors bought Indian shares worth Rs 185 crore yesterday, their eleventh straight day of buying, analysts said.
Sectorally, the BSE Realty sector index gained the most by rising 1.95%, followed by Banking index (up 1.47%), Capital Goods index (1.13 per cent) and Metal index (0.68%).