Mumbai: After taking a day's breather, Indian markets on Thursday continued their upward journey with the Sensex rising 45.82 points and the Nifty edging up 15.80 points to end near respective record highs on buying in banking, auto and capital goods shares amid drop in oil price.
Overseas funds continued to chase stocks today after Foreign Portfolio Investors (FPI) bought shares worth Rs 251.36 crore yesterday, as per provisional data.
HDFC Bank, SBI, L&T, M&M, Bajaj Auto, Sun Pharma, Axis Bank and Hero MotoCorp notched up smart gains while HDFC, Sesa Sterlite, Tata Steel, NTPC, Hindalco and Tata Power fell.
"Profit booking and consolidation continued at higher levels. Global cues were mixed, however, lower crude oil prices boosted overall market sentiment," said Nidhi Saraswat, Senior Research Analyst, Bonanza Portfolio.
The BSE 30-share barometer resumed almost stable but later rallied to a high of 26,464.80 before falling back to a low of 26,262.52 on weak Asian closing after Chinese manufacturing activity fell to a three-month low in August, as per HSBC's manufacturing purchasing managers index.
However, it bounced back after European markets were trading in positive terrain in late morning deals.
The Sensex finally closed up by 45.82 points, or 0.17 percent, to 26,360.11. Yesterday, it had dipped by 106.38 points.
The Sensex hit its record close of 26420.67 on August 19.
Similarly, the NSE 50-issue Nifty recovered by 15.80 points, or 0.20 percent, to end at 7,891.10. Yesterday, it fell by about 22 points on profit-taking.
Nifty's record close of 7,897.50 was hit on August 19.
Stocks of steel companies, however, met with selling pressure after government yesterday gave nod to increasing royalty rates on minerals. Soft data from China, the biggest consumer of metals, also took a toll, brokers said.
In oil markets, US benchmark West Texas Intermediate for October delivery was down 27 cents at USD 93.18 while Brent for October eased 26 cents to USD 102.02 in afternoon trade.
On the global front, Asian markets mostly closed down while Europe was last trading up.
Indices from Japan and Singapore closed up while those from China, Hong Kong, South Korea and Taiwan ended down.
European markets, however, bounced back from their early losses and were trading higher. The CAC was up 0.45 percent, the DAX 0.30 percent and the FTSE 0.23 percent.
Jignesh Chaudhary, Head of Research, Veracity Broking Services said: "Local indices recovered from overnight fall as bluechip companies continued to gain after yesterday's pause. Equities overlooked the ongoing crises in Ukraine and Gaza and focused on the positive sentiments. FII buying mainly helped."
Overall, 15 stocks from the 30-pack Sensex ended with gains while 15 others finished in the red. Major gainers were Bajaj Auto 3.15 percent, SBI 2.27 percent, HDFC Bank 1.35 percent, M&M 1.34 percent, Sun Pharma 1.28 per cent, Axis Bank 1.18 percent and L&T 0.95 percent.
Among laggards, NTPC declined 1.86 per cent, Sesa Sterlite 1.73 percent, Tata Steel 1.62 percent, Dr Reddy's Lab 1.52 percent, Hindalco 1.36 percent, Tata Power 1.11 percent and Bharti Airtel 0.79 percent.
Speaking on Sensex and Nifty, Jayant Manglik, President-retail distribution, Religare Securities said: "We expect index to resume its overall uptrend in next couple of sessions and banking would lead the trend."
In the S&P BSE sectoral indices, Consumer Durables firmed up by 3.79 percent, Bankex 1.18 percent, Auto 0.79 percent and Capital Goods 0.65 percent while Realty dipped by 1.91 percent, Metal 1.35 percent and Power 0.99 percent.
The total market breadth on BSE continued to be firm as 1,685 stocks closed with gains while 1,337 settled with losses. Total equity turnover improved to Rs 3,289.69 crore from Rs 3,125.21 crore yesterday.