Sensex hits record closing of 21,034 points

Mumbai, Oct 30 (IANS) The Sensex, the benchmark index of Indian stock markets, Wednesday hit a record closing high of 21,034 points helped by strong buying support from foreign funds.

The 30-scrip S&P Sensex of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) closed 104.96 points or 0.50 percent higher at 21,033.97 points. This is the highest closing level of the benchmark index.

The previous highest closing level of the Sensex was 21,004 points registered Nov 5, 2010.

The Sensex is also just 0.8 percent away from its record high of 21,206.77 points on Jan 10, 2008. It touched a high of 21,086.59 points in intra-day trading Wednesday.

The Indian stock markets rallied for the second consecutive day after the Reserve Bank of India hiked the repo rate by 25 basis points along expected lines and cut Marginal Standing Facility (MSF) rate to ease liquidity. Interest rate-sensitive banking stocks have rallied following the RBI move.

The wider 50-scrip S&P CNX Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) also rose sharply for the second consecutive day. The Nifty closed 0.50 percent or 30.80 points higher at 6,251.70 points.

There was a strong buying support from the foreign funds. Foreign investors were the net buyers for the 18th session in a row.

There was good buying support in healthcare, FMCG, technology, power and realty stocks. The BSE healthcare index rose 1.19 percent. FMCG index advanced 1.12 percent and power index rallied 0.51 percent.

Bharti Airtel surged 5.23 percent to Rs.359.05 after reporting higher margins.

Other prominent Sensex gainers were: Dr Reddys Lab, up 3.87 percent at Rs.2522.65; Hindalco Inds, up 2.77 percent at Rs.113.25; ICICI Bank, 2.23 percent at Rs.1099.45; and BHEL, up 2.09 percent at Rs.139.15.

Thirteen of the 30 Sensex scrips closed in the red. Wipro, down 2.17 percent at Rs.475.85; SSLT, down 1.29 percent at Rs.198.20; HDFC Bank, down 0.95 percent at Rs.679.85 and SBI, down 0.94 percent at Rs.1721 were among the major Sensex losers.

Most of the global markets rallied. Japan's Nikkei rose 1.23 percent to 14,502.35 points. Hang Seng jumped 2 percent to 23,304.02 points.

Among the European markets, Britain's FTSE 100 was ruling 0.44 percent higher at 6,804.48 points. German DAX was up 0.34 percent at 9,052.85 points and French CAC 40 was up 0.55 percent at 4,301.77 points.

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