Extending gains for the fourth day,the Sensex and the Nifty surged to new life highs and settled at record levels on Wednesday after finance minister Arun Jaitley's comments fuelled buying on hopes the Union Budget next week would list steps to curb surging deficit and rev up growth.
Sustained foreign fund inflows and positive global cues also helped firm up domestic sentiment.
Strong buying was seen across-the-spectrum as all 12 sectoral indices closed with gains of upto 2%.
Metal, healthcare, power, capital goods, auto, FMCG, banking and consumer durable segments logged the biggest rise.
The BSE 30-share barometer resumed better in line with firm Asian cues. It rallied further to a fresh historic intra-day high of 25,864.53.
It settled at a new all-time closing high of 25,841.21, logging a rise of 324.86 points or 1.27%.
In straight four sessions of gains, the Sensex has zoomed by 778.54 points or 3.11%. The broad-based 50-issue CNX Nifty of the NSE flared up by 90.45 points, or 1.18%, to log its new closing peak of 7,725.15.
It touched an intra-day peak of 7,732.40. Nifty has gained about 232 points in four days so far. Foreign investors continued to play a key role behind the pre-budget rally.
They had picked up shares worth Rs. 856.35 crore on Tuesday, as per provisional data. "The participants responded positively to the statement made by the Finance Minister that the government would take bold decisions in the forthcoming Budget (July 10) to revive the economy," said Jayant Manglik, President-retail distribution, Religare Securities.
Besides, an uptick in manufacturing sector growth in June and signs of pickup in auto sales amid firming trend in the global markets too added to the optimism, he added.
Globally, Asian stocks ended higher after reports showing manufacturing expansion in the US pushed American stocks to records. European markets were also trading higher.
Benchmark indices in Hong Kong, South Korea, Singapore, China, Japan and Taiwan rose 0.29% to 1.55%.
In Europe, barometers in France, Germany and the UK moved up by 0.13% to 0.24%.
Back home, the rupee gained 38 paise to end at nearly three-week closing high of 59.69 against the US dollar.
Dipen Shah, Head- Private Client Group Research, Kotak Securities: "Markets ended higher on expectations of a reforms-oriented budget. Progress of monsoon also helped."
Major Sensex gainers were Sesa Sterlite (4.44%), NTPC (3.00%), BHEL (2.75%), HDFC (2.71%), Maruti Suzuki (2.25%), Coal India (2.25%), Sun Pharma (2.14%) and M&M (2.06%).
HDFC Bank (1.97%), Hindalco (1.68%), L&T (1.67%), Cipla (1.65%), Dr Reddy's Lab (1.65%) and ITC (1.18%) also gained.
Besides, Hero MotoCorp (1.11%), ONGC (1.08%), RIL (1.01%) and ICICI Bank (1.01%) were among those that notched up moderate rise.
Among the S&P BSE sectoral indices, Metal rose by 2.01%, Power 1.93%, Healthcare 1.88%, Capital Goods 1.67%, Auto 1.42%, Consumer Durables 1.31%, FMCG 1.12 per cent and Bankex 1.06%.
Market breadth remained positive as 1,907 stocks finished with gains while 1,157 stocks ended lower. Total turnover rose to Rs. 4,315.78 crore from 3,747.41 crore on Tuesday.