Photographs: Reuters SI Reporter in Mumbai
Markets closed at record highs as traders actively rolled over their positions in the futures & options (F&O) segment from the near-month March 2014 series to April 2014 series.
Gains were backed by higher rollovers on absolute basis coupled with high roll cost, indicating market participants are bullish for April series.
At close, the Sensex was up 119 points at 22,214 and the Nifty advanced 40 points at 6,642.
Broader markets outperformed with the smallcap index up 1% and the midcap index added 0.6% as compared to the 0.5% upmove seen on the BSE benchmark index.
In intra-day trades, Nifty traded above the 6,500 levels and hit an intra-day high of 6,674 and Sensex was at a peak at 22,308, to hit their respective record highs for a fourth straight session.
Sectors & Stocks
Realty, Oil & Gas and Consumer Durables indices up 1-1.5% were the top sectoral gainers.
Shares of state-owned oil marketing companies (OMCs) gained up to 5% after the Election Commission said that OMCs could revise petrol prices without seeking the panel’s approval.
State-owned oil firms are due to announce revised petrol and diesel prices on March 31.
Hindustan Petroleum Corporation (HPCL), Bharat Petroleum Corporation (BPCL) and Indian Oil added 2-2.5%.
Health Care index down 0.8% and IT index down 0.1% were the only indices in the negative territory. Metal index was flat with a negative bias.
Banking index added 0.7%. PSU banks were in focus after Goldman Sachs upgraded ratings of state-owned banks.
State Bank of India, Oriental Bank of Commerce, Indian Overseas Bank, Bank of Baroda and Punjab National Bank were up 3-5%.
Syndicate Bank, Canara Bank, Bank of India, Union Bank of India, IDBI Bank, Allahabad Bank and Andhra Bank were up 1.5-3%.
Among top BSE gainers, SBI and Bharti Airtel ended 4% higher while Hero MotoCorp, Gail India, NTPC added between 1-3%.
Dr Reddys Lab, SSLT, Tata Motors, Sun Pharma and Infosys shaved between 0.5-2% and were the top losers on Thursday.
Advance-Decline ratio favoured the bulls with 1673 stocks advancing and 1127 stocks declined.
Asian shares raced to two-week highs on Wednesday, with investor confidence getting a much-needed boost from upbeat U.S. data and diminishing concerns over the Ukraine/Crimea crisis.
MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 1.1% to its highest level since March 11, while Japan's Nikkei ticked up 0.3%.
In Europe, CAC and DAX were flat while FTSE declined 0.4%.