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Sensex hits record high on hopes of reforms

The rupee fell 28 paise to close at 70.97 against the US dollar, amid uncertainty over the US-China trade deal.

The benchmark BSE Sensex on Wednesday rallied 222 points to a life-time high of 40,469.78, amid hopes of more reform measures in the banking, financial and real estate sectors to boost growth.

After touching an all-time intra-day high of 40,606.91 in late-afternoon trade, the Sensex finally ended 221.55 points, or 0.55 per cent, higher at 40,469.78. The previous closing high was 40,301.96, hit on November 4. Similarly, the broader NSE Nifty briefly reclaimed the 12,000 level, before closing at 11,966.05 — a gain of 48.85 points, or 0.41 per cent.

On Tuesday, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman hinted that the government is working on some sops for the real estate sector, particularly for homebuyers, and support to senior citizens in the wake of the decline in interest rates. Stock indices have been rising on the back of strong earnings, hopes of more economic stimulus from the government and positive cues from global markets.

“The market clocked a new high based on commitment from the FM to speed up reforms in the near future. Realty and financials outperformed in expectation of new measures while metal stocks gained owing to easing global trade war. Better results from index heavyweights kept expectations high for earnings growth, influencing investors to stay in the market,” said Vinod Nair, head-research, Geojit Financial Services.

Top gainers in the Sensex pack included ICICI Bank, Infosys, HDFC, IndusInd Bank, Tata Motors, Kotak Bank, Axis Bank, L&T, Yes Bank and HUL, spurting up to 2.64 per cent. On the other hand, Bharti Airtel, RIL, Bajaj Finance, ONGC, HCL Tech, ITC and Sun Pharma slipped up to 3.31 per cent. Sectorally, BSE realty, bankex, finance, metal, IT, industrials and capital goods indices rose up to 2.59 per cent. On the other hand, consumer durables, telecom and energy fell up to 5.30 per cent.

Meanwhile, the rupee tumbled 28 paise to close at 70.97 against the US dollar on Wednesday, as continuing uncertainty over the US-China trade deal affected currency market sentiment worldwide. However, robust foreign fund inflows and easing crude oil prices restricted the fall for the domestic currency.