Indian markets continued their dreamrun on the back of capital inflows with the Sensex on Thursday gaining for the sixth day as it rose 78 points to end at new closing peak of 26,638.11, wrapping up the seventh straight month of gains in August.
The NSE Nifty index rose by 18 points to a fresh closing high of 7,954.35 as stocks inched northwards on hectic activity on expiry day of monthly derivative contracts, despite weak global cues in form of rising tension in Ukraine.
Brokers said investors continued to focus on the series of steps taken by the Modi government to boost the economy and attract FDI. Buying was mainly seen in capital goods, refinery and FMCG stocks while realty, metal and IT shares fell.
The BSE 30-share index resumed higher and moved in a narrow range throughout the day in positive terrain before settling up 77.96 points, or 0.29 %, at new closing peak of 26,638.11. Intra-day, it hit life high of 26,674.38.
At closing level, the index surpassed its previous closing peak of 26,560.15 hit on Wednesday.
In six days of continuous rise, Sensex has gained 324 points. For the month (August), the index rose 743 points, or 2.8 %. This is its seventh consecutive monthly gain.
The CNX 50-share Nifty also rose by 18.30 points, or 0.23 %, to close at new closing peak at 7,954.35 after hitting intra-day high of 7,967.80. Its previous closing peak was 7,936.05 hit on Wednesday.
All eyes are now on GDP April-June quarter data scheduled for release tomorrow, a market holiday on account of Ganesh Chaturthi. The Sensex and the Nifty have gained about 26 % this year so far, the most among big global indices.
Rail stocks were in demand on Thursday after government notified liberalised FDI norms for the sector. Shares of Texmaco Rail, Titagarh Wagons and Kalindee Rail Nirman rose.
"Buying in index heavyweights like ICICI Bank, ITC, LT and HDFC Bank kept markets higher. Expiry for Futures and Options contracts for August month kept volatility towards the higher end. Global markets, however, were muted...," said Rakesh Goyal, Senior Vice President, Bonanza Portfolio.
Asian markets mostly fell Thursday, with investors unable to build on the previous day's advances after the S&P on Wall Street notched up another record. European stock markets sank in early trade as investors worried over reports of increased tension in war-torn Ukraine.
Foreign Portfolio Investors (FPIs) --the main market mover-- continued their buying spree and bought shares worth Rs. 290.18 crore on Wednesday, as per provisional data.
Asian markets ended lower as key indices in China, Japan, Hongkong, Singapore and Taiwan moved down by 0.08 % to 0.71 % while South Korea index moved up 0.04 %.
European markets were trading lower from one-month highs, ahead of the release of the revised US gross product figures fro the second quarter later in the global day. Key indices in France, Germany and UK fell by 0.22 % to 0.80 %.
Jignesh Chaudhary, Head of Research, Veracity Broking Services, said: "Local indices continued its bull rally and ended high. Continued FIIs buying help ahead of derivatives expiry at the end of the session. on Wednesday, FIIs were net buyers for the 11th day in a row." In Sensex, 17 scrips out of the 30-share pack ended higher, 12 scrips finished lower while Hero Motocorp was flat.
Major gainers from the Sensex included BHEL (5.04 %), Gail (1.96 %), ONGC (1.73 %), L&T (1.62 %), Wipro (1.39 %), ICICI Bank (1.01 %), Dr Reddy's Lab (0.96 %) and HUL (0.91 %).
Tata Power fell 1.97 %, Tata Steel 1.78 %, SBI 1.70 %, NTPC 1.18 %, Hindalco 1.10 % and Infosys 1.07 % among Sensex laggards.
Among the sectoral S&P BSE indices, Capital Goods rose by 1.43 %, Oil&Gas 1.06 % and FMCG 0.74 % while Realty fell by 1.91 % and Metal by 0.85 %.
The total market breadth turned negative as 1,553 stocks closed lower, 1,376 finished higher. Total equity turnover rose to Rs. 3,010.11 crore from Rs. 2,926.84 crore on Wednesday.