Continuing its record breaking performance, the BSE benchmark Sensex on day spurted by over 118 points to end the day at all-time closing high of 22,876.54 on select buying in blue-chip stocks like L&T, HDFC Bank and BHEL amid persistent capital inflows.
The 30-share index recorded its highest ever figure of 22,912.52 points intra-day, but lost the momentum on emergence of profit-booking.
The 50-share Nifty of NSE rose by 25.45 points to finish at all-time record of 6,840.80 after hitting historic level of 6,861.60 intra-day.
This is the third successive day indices are hitting their life-time high levels intra-day.
"Elections results will be out soon, and quarterly results have already started coming in. These events can direct market trends in the coming sessions," said Nidhi Saraswat, senior research analyst, Bonanza Portfolio, adding that after one-sided rally seen for the last few sessions, profit-booking at higher levels is expected now.
Stock brokers said buying activity gathered momentum as investors covered their pending short positions on April settlement in the derivatives segment.
Buying by FIIs and retail investors on the back of encouraging earnings by corporates also helped key indices to continue their record-breaking performance, they added.
After touching the highest ever figure of 22,912.52, the barometer surrendered some gains to settle at 22,876.54, a gain of 118.17 points or 0.52 per cent, from previous close.
Adding to its gains of the last two session, L&T surged by 2.48% on positive recommendations by brokerages.
Gail India at 1.48%, BHEL 1.42%, Tata Steel 1.32%, M&M 1.22%, Axis Bank 1.18%, Bharti Airtel 1.13%, HDFC Bank 1.09%, Sun Pharma 1.09% and Coal India 1.04% were the big gainers.
"The rupee edged lower to trade at 61 level as importers purchased dollar for the day. There was a mixed trade within sectoral indices with banking and capital goods to gain by 1.5% while profit booking continued in realty and power sectors to correct by 1%," said Jayant Manglik, president, retail distribution, Religare Securities.
Among the BSE sectoral indices, capital goods rose by 1.49%, Bankex 1.12%, healthcare 0.44% and FMCG 0.41%.
However, realty fell by 1.28%, consumer goods 0.88%, Power 0.53% and Oil&Gas 0.33%.
FIIs invested Rs. 162.93 crore yesterday, as per the provisional figures issued by stock exchanges.
Among big losers, NTPC fell by 1.49%, followed by Wipro 1.19%, Tata Motors 0.84% and Hero Motocorp 0.72%.
The market breadth remained positive as 1,468 stocks ended in the green, 1,359 stocks finished in the red and 144 ruled steady. The total turnover dropped to Rs. 2,626.12 crores from 2,721.21 crore on Tuesday.
Asian stocks ended lower after Chinese manufacturing data signaled persisting weakness in the world's second-largest economy. Key benchmark indices in Taiwan, China, South Korea, Singapore and Hong Kong dropped by 0.19-0.97% while Japan's Nikkei ended higher by 1.09%.
European markets were also trading lower as indices in France, Germany and UK declined by 0.03-0.31%.
Note: The BSE and the NSE will remain closed tomorrow on April 24 on account of Parliamentary elections in Mumbai constituency.