Mumbai: Benchmarks spurted to fresh life- time highs today on optimism surrounding corporate earnings, with IT and realty counters leading the charge.
The BSE Sensex jumped 70.42 points to end at 34,503.49, while the broader NSE Nifty finished at 10,651.20, up 19 points.
Investors were optimistic that blue-chip companies will post encouraging third quarter results, brokers said.
The 30-share Sensex, after a cautious start, gathered momentum and rallied to 34,558.88, before ending at 34,503.49, a rise of 70.42 points, or 0.20 per cent. It broke its previous closing high of 34,443.19 hit on January 9.
The 50-share Nifty, after range-bound morning trade, soared to touch an all-time high of 10,664.60 on a flurry of buying deals.
It finally settled 19 points, or 0.18 per cent higher at 10,651.20, surpassing its previous closing record of 10,637 hit on January 9.
"Market continued to stay on the positive side on traction in IT, realty and small-cap stocks but some volatility was seen in banks.
"Investors are focusing on earnings growth in Q3 to support the premium valuation. Tomorrow's CPI inflation data is expected to rise...which may influence investors to remain cautious," said Vinod Nair, Head of Research, Geojit Financial Services.
Domestic institutional investors bought shares worth a net Rs 600.24 crore yesterday, while FPIs net sold shares worth Rs 572.26 crore, as per provisional data. Infosys was the top performer among the Sensex constituents, rising 2.28 per cent ahead of its Q3 earnings, while Bharti Airtel jumped 1.66 per cent.
Other gainers were Kotak Bank, HDFC Ltd, Asian Paints, HUL, M&M, Yes Bank, Sun Pharma, Tata Motors, SBI, HDFC Bank, Adani Ports, ITC Ltd, Dr Reddy's and ONGC, gaining up to 1.61 per cent.
However, shares of private lender IndusInd Bank fell the most at 2.08 per cent despite the bank posting a 24.72 per cent increase in net profit to Rs 936.25 crore for the quarter ended December 31, 2017.
Wipro, ICICI Bank, Axis Bank, Hero MotoCorp, TCS, Power Grid, NTPC and Reliance Industries too ended in the red. Among sectoral indices, the BSE realty index rose 2 per cent, followed by IT 0.89 per cent, teck 0.79 per cent, FMCG 0.44 per cent, healthcare 0.27 per cent and auto 0.17 per cent. Consumer durables, oil and gas, capital goods, infrastructure and PSU indices ended lower.
In the broader markets, the small-cap and mid-cap indices gained 0.41 per cent and 0.27 per cent, respectively. Coming to the global markets, most other Asian markets fell, with Tokyo hit by a weak dollar and Hong Kong coming off a 12-day surge after the US markets fell for the first time in 2018 in yesterday's trade.
Shanghai Composite Index advanced 0.10 per cent. European indices such as Paris CAC 40 inched up 0.05 per cent but Frankfurt's DAX fell 0.07 per cent in early deals. London's FTSE rose 0.05 per cent.