Aided by a copious inflow of foreign funds and favourable news of onset of the monsoon in Kerala, stock market indices conquered new heights on Friday. The 30-share S&P BSE Sensex vaulted by 377 points to close at a historic high of 25,396.46 points.

The stock market has been gripped by bullish sentiment in recent weeks with expectations of quick and decisive action on the economic front from the new government. Friday’s surge was led by oil and gas stocks such as ONGC, which rose 10.6 per cent to an all-time high of Rs.464, Gail India which gained 7.52 per cent to Rs.420.35 and Reliance Industries, which was up by 3 per cent.

Underpinning the optimism in these stocks was the expectation that the government may increase natural gas prices with effect from July 1.

Foreign institutional investors bought shares worth Rs.1,283 crore on Thursday, as per provisional data.

On the global front, the overnight decision of the European Central Bank to cut its benchmark interest rates to unprecedented lows to pump money into the sluggish euro zone economy also boosted domestic market sentiments.

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