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Mkts hit lifetime highs as infra stocks on roll

Sensex jumps 383 pts, Nifty soars 114 pts; RBI policy eyed

Market likely to stay range-bound

Market likely to stay range-bound 

Mumbai Market benchmarks ratcheted up to fresh lifetime highs on Thursday after two days of muted trade as banking, finance and infra stocks saw hectic buying ahead of RBI's monetary policy decision.

A rebounding rupee added to the momentum, with midcap and smallcap gauges outperforming the benchmarks. The 30-share BSE Sensex opened strong and carried the gains through the day to finish 382.95 points or 0.70 per cent higher at 52,232.43. The index surpassed its previous closing record of 52,154.13 hit on February 15 this year.

Similarly, the broader NSE Nifty soared 114.15 points or 0.73 per cent to end at its lifetime peak of 15,690.35. Titan was the top performer in the Sensex pack, spurting 6.69 per cent, followed by ONGC, L&T, Axis Bank, Kotak Bank, Bajaj Finance and HDFC Bank. On the other hand, IndusInd Bank, PowerGrid, Bajaj Auto, M&M and Dr Reddy's were among the laggards, shedding up to 2.15 per cent. Domestic equities remained upbeat with benchmark indices recording fresh highs, said Binod Modi, Head - Strategy at Reliance Securities. Rebound in heavyweight financial services supported the market once again, he said, adding that realty followed by FMCG and metals also witnessed sharp recovery. IT, pharma and auto witnessed some amount of pressure.

"Notably, midcap and small-cap stocks continued to outperform broader indices as improved prospects of sustainable earnings recovery continue to attract investors towards this space," he noted. S Ranganathan, Head of Research at LKP Securities, said the markets remained firmly in the grip of bulls ahead of the RBI policy announcement on Friday, with investors expecting the central bank to continue with its accommodative stance while keeping a watchful eye on Inflation. Expectations of vaccinations being ramped up coupled with capex programs is likely to improve credit growth, he added.

All BSE sectoral indices ended in the positive terrain, with consumer durables, realty, capital goods, oil and gas, bankex and finance rallying up to 4.44 per cent. Broader BSE midcap and smallcap indices rose 1.04 per cent each. World stocks took a breather ahead of the crucial US payrolls data which will give cues on the economic recovery as well as broader inflation.

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