The Indian stock indices Sensex and Nifty hit new lifetime highs in early trades on Monday as the bulls stormed the ring, buoyed by the Bharatiya Janata Party's remarkable show in the recently held assembly elections in four states.
A firm trend in global markets on the back of an upbeat U.S. jobs report and encouraging trade data from China too contributed to the buoyant start. The rupee's strong upmove against the U.S. dollar gave further strength to the bulls.
The BSE benchmark Sensex, which soared to 21,483.74, ended the day with a gain of 329.89 points or 1.57% at 21,326.42. The Nifty index of the National Stock Exchange closed at 6363.90, more than 50 points off a new all-time high of 6415.25, recording a gain of 104 points or 1.66%.
In the currency market, the rupee opened at 60.83 against the U.S. dollar, gaining nearly 60 paise. In late afternoon trade, the partially convertible Indian rupee was quoting around 61.05, still up notably from Friday's close of 61.41 to the dollar.
Bank and capital goods stocks hogged the limelight once again. Mirroring strong buying in these sectors, the BSE Bankex and the Capital Goods index rose 2.93% and 3.14%, respectively.
With several key stocks from the realty space posting strong gains, the BSE Realty barometer spurted 2.61%. Oil, power and automobile stocks were the other impressive gainers.
Metal stocks started off on a strong note on the back of impressive trade data from China, but lost their way as the session progressed, due to profit taking. Select information technology stocks gained in strength, while FMCG, healthcare and consumer durables stocks were subdued. Midcap and smallcap stocks turned in a mixed performance.
ICICI Bank ended stronger by 5.2%. HDFC Bank and State Bank of India moved up by 2% and 1.5%, respectively.
IndusInd Bank, Bank of Baroda, Axis Bank, Punjab Natinal Bank, Union Bank of India, Bank of India, Oriental Bank of Commerce, Allahbad Bank, Syndicate Bank, Andhra Bank and Indian Overseas Bank also closed with impressive gains.
Capital goods stock Larsen & Toubro gained a little over 4.5%. BHEL started off well but gave up its gains later and ended just marginally up.
Automobile stocks Maruti Suzuki (3.9%), Mahindra & Mahindra (2.3%), Hero Motocorp (1.1%) and Bajaj Auto (1.3%) ended on a high note, while Tata Motors gained about half a percent.
ONGC moved up by 3.5% and Reliance Industries gained 1.3%. Sesa Sterlite gained about 5%. NTPC, Wipro, Hindalco, GAIL India, Bharti Airtel, Dr Reddy's Laboratories and Tata Power ended higher by 1% - 3%.
HDFC, Sun Pharmaceutical Industries, ITC, Infosys and Coal India posted modest gains. Tata Consultancy Services edged up marginally.
Realty stock DLF, up more than 6%, was the top gainer in the Nifty index. Cement stocks ACC (5%), Ambuja Cements (4.5%), Grasim Industries (2.6%) and Ultra Tech Cement (2.5%) ended on a high note. Power Grid Corporation and IDFC too closed with strong gains.
Jindal Steel & Power lost over 6% on profit taking. Cipla, Lupin, Tata Steel and Cairn India ended lower by 0.4% - 0.8%. Ranbaxy Laboratories and Asian Paints declined marginally.
McNally Bharat and Accel Frontline rose sharply on stock specific new.
The market breadth was slightly weak. Out of 2690 stocks traded on BSE, 1201 stocks moved up... 1310 stocks declined and 179 stocks ended flat.