Markets extended gains for the seventh straight session and also gained for the seventh straight month, rising the most in May, after the Modi-led NDA government took charge and announced a slew of initiates that helped improve business sentiment and lifted the economy back on the growth track.
Further, today was also the expiry of August futures and options contracts.
Both the benchmark share indices ended at record closing highs.
The 30-share Sensex gained 78 points at 26,638 mark after hitting a fresh intra-day high of 26,674.38.
For the seven months since February 2014, the benchmark index surged nearly 27%. The 50-share Nifty closed higher by 18 points at 7,954 levels.
Global firms have revised their GDP estimates upwards on the back of improving economic environment in recent months.
Global ratings agency Moody’s raised the first quarter growth estimate to 5.1% from the sub-five levels that has been clocked over the past two years.
Moody’s expects the economy to clock 6% growth in 2015.
Sonal Varma and Aman Mohunta of Nomura are even more bullish than Moody’s, predicting Q1 GDP growth to hit 5.9% per cent annually, compared to their initial estimate of 4.7%.
Nomura expects GDP growth of 5.5% and 6.7% per cent in FY2015 and FY2016 (4.7% and 6.3% previously).
Barclays and Standard Chartered too have increased their expectation of GDP growth to 6%. Standard Chartered in its reports has attributed the revised numbers to improvement in industrial activity and services sector.
Foreign institutional investors have been aggressive buyers in Indian equities infusing around Rs 77,684 crore in the past seven months since February and Rs 6,408 crore for this month till August 26, as per regulatory data.
Meanwhile, the stock market will remain closed tomorrow on account of Ganesh Chaturthi.
Tokyo stocks fell on Thursday as concerns about Japan's economic recovery pushed investors to the sidelines as they waited for a batch of key data out on Friday.
The Nikkei share average ended 0.5% lower to 15,459.86.
The broader Topix declined 0.4% to 1,280.74, and JPX-Nikkei Index 400 fell 0.5% to 11,630.32.
Hong Kong's benchmark index finished at a two-week low in choppy conditions on Thursday, hurt by continued weakness in the Chinese onshore market and poor corporate earnings.
European shares edged lower ahead of the release of the revised US gross domestic product figures for the second quarter later in the global day.
Asian stocks were mixed. Brent crude oil futures fell as expectations of ample supply weighed on prices.
The rupee is trading at 60.53 versus its previous close of 60.45/46. Traders say good dollar buying from state-run banks is seen, likely on behalf of oil importers to meet month-end demand.
SECTORS & STOCKS
BSE Capital Goods, Oil & Gas and FMCG indices gained by 1% each. However, BSE Realty, IT and Metal indices declined between 1-2%.
PSU OMCs gained after the government removed the restriction of one subsidized LPG cylinder per month for each consumer. The restriction of 12 subsidized cylinders per consumer per annum continues.
HPLC, BPCL and IOCL gained between 1-3%. GAIL gained by over 2%.
From the capital goods space, BHEL was the top Sensex gainer, up over 5%.
Betting big on the new government's initiative to clear major infrastructure projects which were stuck, engineering major Larsen & Toubro said that it expects to bag a number of construction deals.
L&T gained by nearly 2%.
In the auto sector, Hero Moto, Tata Motors and Maruti Suzuki gained by nearly 1% each. Tata Motors has announced the launch of its passenger vehicle range in Algeria.
Other notable gainers were ONGC, Wipro, ICICI Bank, Dr Reddy’s Labs, HUL and ITC.
On the losing side, Tata Power, Tata Steel, SBI, Infosys and NTPC declined between 1-2%.
Hydro S&S Industries was locked in upper circuit for fourth straight day, up 10% at Rs 98 after the company said it got shareholders approval for preferential issue to strategic investor Hong Kong Victory Investment Company.
Rollatainers hit an upper circuit limit of 5% at Rs 314 on BSE after the company said it signed a pact to launch Wendy's hamburger restaurant chain in India.
Railway-related stocks ended higher by up to 12% after the government notified the liberalised foreign direct investment norms for rail infrastructure, allowing 100% FDI through automatic route in the sector.
Texmaco Rail & Engineering, BEML, Titagarh Wagons, Kalindee Rail Nirman, Kernex Microsystems and Stone India were up between 5-12% on the BSE.