The benchmark Sensex and the broader Nifty surged to record levels today after the BJP's victory in three state assembly elections sparked optimism about the main opposition party's chances in general elections next year.
The S&P BSE Sensex climbed 487.21 points to an all-time high of 21,483.74 and ended with a gain of 329.89 points, or 1.57 per cent, at 21,326.42, a new closing high.
The 50-share CNX Nifty on the National Stock Exchange rose 104 points, or 1.66 per cent, to 6,363.90, after touching an intra-day peak of 6,415.25. Both indices surpassed their previous highs on November 3.
The rupee also climbed to an almost four-month high of 60.90 against the dollar as local stocks strengthened.
Capital goods and bank stocks led 12 of the 13 BSE sectoral indices higher.
ICICI Bank and Larsen & Toubro were the biggest contributors to the gains on the Sensex. Sesa Sterlite and ONGC were among the 26 of the 30 index shares that moved up.
The Bharatiya Janata Party raced to wins in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh and was just short of a majority in Delhi, according to election results announced yesterday. While the BJP retained Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, the Congress party, which heads the ruling coalition at the Centre, lost in Delhi and Rajasthan.
The Sensex had surged 249 points on December 5 after exit polls showed leads for the BJP.
"The state assembly elections are viewed by many as a preview of the general elections, which are due by May 2014. However, we would caution that state election outcomes are not always a reliable indicator of general election prospects," Nomura said in a note today.
Analysts have earlier said sentiment could be affected once the US Federal Reserve starts tapering its stimulus programme as the world's largest economy recovers, reducing liquidity available for investing in emerging markets.
Foreign institutional investment in the Indian stock market has crossed Rs 1 lakh crore so far this year, or USD 18 billion, according to Sebi data. They bought a net Rs 863.77 crore of shares on Friday.
"The focus of the market would again shift to the FOMC (Federal Open Market Committee) meeting and expectations about the Fed taper programme in the wake of strong economic data from that economy," said Sanjeev Zarbade, Vice President - Private Client Group Research, Kotak Securities.
"Markets will also watch out for other domestic issues like inflation and RBI's take on interest rates," he said.
The major Sensex gainers were ICICI Bank (5.16 pc), Sesa Sterlite (5.04 pc), Larsen & Toubro (4.52 pc), Maruti Suzuki (3.85 pc), ONGC (3.48 pc), NTPC (2.85 pc), Wipro (2.8 pc), Hindalco Industries (2.74 pc), M&M (2.22 pc) and HDFC Bank (2.02 pc).
Among the S&P BSE sectoral indices, Captial Goods rose 3.14 pc, followed by Bankex 2.93 pc, Realty 2.61 pc, Oil & Gas 1.71 pc, Power 1.59 pc and Auto 1.37 pc.
"BJP is seen as a market reformist and a boon to the jittery markets by many investors and traders. A strong rupee...Also helped the markets to trade strong," said Jignesh Chaudhary, Head of Research at Veracity Broking Services.
However, as many as 1,316 stocks ended with losses on the BSE while 1,201 stocks finished with gains and 173 ruled steady. Total turnover rose to Rs 2,223.88 crore from Rs 1,846.02 crore on Friday.
In the Asian markets, major indices, barring the Straits Times Index in Singapore, ended higher on better-than-forecast growth in US jobs and Chinese exports.
European stocks were mixed as indices in France and the UK eased while Germany's Dax moved up.
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