Indian stocks rose to a second successive record high on Thursday, but gains were limited by investor caution after Wednesday's surge and as the rupee's rise to nine-year highs hit shares in outsourcing firms.
The 30-share BSE Sensex rose 0.15 per cent, or 25.20 points, to a record close of 16,347.95, although 18 components fell. The index hit a life high of 16,415.88 during trade.
The small gain followed a 4.17 per cent surge a day earlier, the biggest gain in 15 months, and took the market's rise to nearly 17 per cent from a three-month closing low on August 21.
The broader Nifty of the National Stock Exchange also improved further by 15.20 points or 0.32 per cent to end at new peak of 4,747.55 from its previous close of 4,732.35. It touched an all-time intra-trade high of 4,760.85. Brokers said the markets responded to expectations that overseas funds would continue to invest in Indian equities. "We were in a consolidation mode after yesterday's rise. The market is good otherwise and may move up again," said DD Sharma, VP at brokerage Anand Rathi Securities.
Property and consumer goods stocks rose, while software stocks fell, as the rupee strengthened against the dollar to a near-decade high of 39.91 from 40.26.
"The rising rupee is definitely affecting IT and IT-enabled services companies, and to some extent pharma and other export-oriented sectors. IT stocks could decline further," said Sharma.
Losers led gainers 1,589 to 1,212 on volume of $1.76 billion. India's third largest software exporter Wipro fell Rs 14.65, or 3.27 per cent, to Rs 433.5, while the second largest software exporter Infosys Technologies fell Rs 53.55, or 2.89 per cent, to Rs 1,799.75. India's largest private-sector firm Reliance rose Rs 19.2 to Rs 2,192.1 on strong fund buying.
Spiralling global crude oil prices and the continuing stalemate between the government and its key ally on the nuclear deal with the US partly weighed on the market sentiment, a prominent broker said.