The BSE Sensex hit an all-time high of of 21,524.15 on Thursday before closing at a record high of 21,513.87, a gain of 237.01 points or 1.11% over Wednesday’s close. The previous record was 21,483.74 points that the Sensex had touched on December 9, 2013. The Nifty gained 72.50 points or 1.15% to close at 6,401.15 points.
India’s current account deficit narrowing to $4.9 billion or 0.9% of GDP in the third quarter of 2013-14 and the receding threat of a full blown war in Ukraine buoyed sentiment. A stable currency is another factor behind the rising stock prices.
Analysts said this was a pre-election rally, in line with the trend seen before six previous general elections when the markets had gained in anticipation of a new government."The market has risen on the back of strong FII flows and rising retail investor participation," said Motilal Oswal, CMD, Motilal Oswal Financial Services.
The rally belied market expectations that FIIs would turn cautious ahead of the Lok Sabha elections in April-May and the formation of a new government at the Centre.
“FIIs have been buying into Indian shares on the back of improving economic fundamentals,” said Devang Mehta, senior VP, Anand Rathi.
The BSE Realty Index (up 4.09%) and power index (up 2.45%) led the surge. Banking stocks also gained, with the BSE Bankex rising 1.68%. ICICI Bank was up 3.3%. Axis Bank rose 1.65% and HDFC Bank was up 0.96%. Sensex heavyweight Reliance Industries rose 1.87%.
The rally saw the creation of `85,027 crore of shareholder wealth, according to data from the BSE.