The BSE benchmark Sensex rose for the third straight day in the last trading session of the year, adding 120 points on sustained buying amid indications that strong economic growth will boost company earnings.
Brokers said the Sensex ended the year by becoming the best performer in the Asian region during 2010.
In continuation of 363 points rise in the last two trading sessions, the Sensex advanced by another 120.02 points to reach 20,509.09.
The benchmark gained 17.43% this year, extending its historic 82% rally last year on faster recovery in the economy. The upward journey began from 17,464.81 point mark level on December 31, 2009.
In the 30-BSE Sensex components, 22 stocks closed higher.
Besides, barring IT, all sectoral indices ended in the positive zone.
The broader market's National Stock Exchange index Nifty rose by 32.65 to 6,134.50, after touching the day's high of 6,147.70 as stocks in realty, banking and auto segments gained on strong buying.
Companies on the measure are valued at an average 19.4 times estimated earnings this year, compared with a recent peak of 20.1 times on November 5.
The foreign fund inflow was up 61% this year, making the gauge the most expensive in Asia and among the BRIC markets that also include Brazil, Russia and China.
Global funds bought a net Rs 6.05 billion of Indian equities on December 29, taking this year’s record flows into equities markets to Rs 1.31 trillion, according to data from Securities and Exchange Board of India.
The business volumes slightly declined as some of the foreign funds remained absent from the market following year-end vacations, while general investors adopted cautious approach concerned over high inflation and the health of the US and European economies.
The Sensex climbed every quarter since May 2009, when Prime Minister led the Congress party to its biggest electoral victory in two decades, on pledge to cut fiscal deficit and boost economic growth.
The gauge climbed to a record on November 5 to 21,108.64 and has more than doubled since plunging to a low of 8,160.40 in March 2009, amid the global financial crisis.
Today's gain in the market was supported by a steep rise in the realty sector, up 2.40% at 2,856.22, followed by banking sector (1.40%) to 13,379.73. The auto index rose by 0.93% to 10,235.41, and consumer durable index by 0.72% to 6,356.97.