With the exit polls pointing to a BJP-led National Democratic Alliance government at the centre, it was another day of gains for stocks and the benchmark Indian indices Sensex and the Nifty on Tuesday.
Sustaining the momentum seen over the past two sessions, stocks rallied sharply, resulting in the Sensex sailing past the 24,000 mark to a new lifetime high of 24,068.94 a little before noon. The barometer shed some gains subsequently, but still ended the session on a high note at 23,871.23, up 320.23 points or 1.36% from its previous close.
The Nifty, which zoomed to 7172.35, settled at 7108.75, gaining 94.50 points or 1.35% for the day.
The data released by the government after trading hours on Monday showed India's industrial production to have declined less than expected in March. The data showed a 0.5% drop in industrial output in March, slower than the 1.8% decline a month earlier.
However, manufacturing output was down 1.2% and mining sector growth declined 0.4%, while electricity output surged up 5.4%.
In the forex market, the rupee strengthened to 59.59 against the U.S. dollar, but retreated to around 59.75 a dollar in late afternoon trades.
Capital goods, power, realty and oil stocks had another great outing. Information technology stocks joined the rally too. Consumer durables and cement stocks also posted strong gains.
Bank, metal, automobile and FMCG stocks saw some hectic buying early on, but retreated and ended off their highs due to profit taking. Healthcare stocks were mostly subdued.
BHEL ended stronger by over 10%, amid reports the government is likely to ratify a decision to sell a 4.66% stake in the company through block deals. ONGC gained nearly 4%. Reliance Industries moved up by over 3%.
Automobile stocks Hero Motocorp (5.4%), Maruti Suzuki (2.2%) and Bajaj Auto (1.7%) closed on a high note.
Tata Power moved up 3.7%. GAIL India ended higher by a little over 2.5%. Sesa Sterlite, Tata Steel, HDFC, Larsen & Toubro, State Bank of India, Hindustan Unilever and NTPC also ended notably higher. Axis Bank, ICICI Bank, Bharti Airtel, Cipla, Coal India and ITC ended modestly higher.
IT majors Wipro (3.4%), Infosys (2.8%) and Tata Consultancy Services (2.4%) rallied sharply. HCL Technologies, Hexaware Technologies, Tech Mahindra and Oracle Financial Services also posted impressive gains.
Cement stocks Ambuja Cements, ACC, Grasim Industries and Ultra Tech Cement gained 2.3% - 5%.
Strong results lifted Bank of Baroda shares by over 4.5%. IndusInd Bank, Jindal Steel & Power, IDFC, Kotak Bank and Lupin closed with sharp to moderate gains.
Punjab National Bank ended 4.8% on weak results. Dr Reddy's Laboratories (down 4.3%) also declined sharply on disappointing quarter results. Cairn India, Hindalco, HDFC Bank and Tata Motors also closed weak.
Shares of state run oil marketing firms moved higher following a hike in diesel prices. Just Dial moved up on strong results.
The market breadth was positive. Out of 3038 stocks traded on BSE, 1623 stocks moved up, 1268 stocks declined and 147 stocks ended flat.