A benchmark index of Indian equities markets Tuesday crossed the 24,000-point mark for the first time in its history, recording the third straight high.

At 24,068.94 points, it was the highest mark so far, surpassing the previous record of 23,573 points hit Monday as the exit polls showed the Bharatiya Janata Party and its allies closing in on a majority in the just-ended country’s general elections.

The 30-scrip Sensitive Index (Sensex) of the S&P Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), which crossed the 24,000 points in the morning session, opened Tuesday’s trade at 23,729.78 points, and ended trade at 23,871.23 points, a record closing high (provisional), up 320.23 points or 1.36 percent from the previous day’s close at 23,551 points.

The Sensex touched a high of 24,068.94 points and a low of 23,729.25 points intra-day.

The rally was led by the capital goods, oil and gas, information technology (IT), consumer durables and technology, entertainment and media (TECK) sectors.

The S&P BSE capital goods index gained 318.86 points, oil and gas index surged by 302.34 points, IT index went up by 227.55 points, consumer durables index rose by 191.82 points, TECK index moved up by 109.78 points.

However, healthcare index fell 41.99 points.

The wider 50-scrip Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) too closed at a record high. It surged 155.45 points or 1.34 percent and closed at 7,108.40 points before climbing to an all time high of 7,172.35 points.

The prominent gainers were: Bharat Heavy Electricals, up 10.25 percent at Rs.218.80; Hero MotoCorp, up 5.39 percent at Rs.2,428.85; ONGC, up 3.81 percent at Rs.372.05, Tata Power, up 3.62 percent at Rs.84.55 and Wipro, up 3.36 percent at Rs.528.80.

The losers included Dr Reddy’s Lab, down 3.99 percent at Rs.2,610.70; Tata Motors, down 0.94 percent at Rs.440.80; Hindalco Inds, down 0.84 percent at Rs.142.30; HDFC Bank, 0.63 percent at Rs.787; and Sun Pharma, 0.47 percent at Rs.610.20.

PTI adds:

The market sentiment was also boosted by data showing that foreign funds made substantial purchases as they bought shares worth a net Rs 1,217.95 crore yesterday as per provisional data from the stock exchanges.

Market participants seemed to ignore data, which came after markets closed yesterday, showing retail inflation rose to three—month high of 8.59 per cent in April, squeezing the space for the Reserve Bank to ease interest rates in the monetary policy review in June.

Jignesh Chaudhary, Head of Research, Veracity Broking Services said: “Local equities opened strong taking cues from yesterday’s exit polls which showed that the Bharatiya Janata Party and its allies will be on the winning side in the Lok Sabha elections. Investors feel that if Modi wins this elections then his presence will boost markets & also the FIIs will pour in more money...”

Globally, most Asian stocks ended higher as investors weighed earnings and after US stocks climbed to record high overnight. Benchmark indices in South Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Japan were up by 0.11 per cent to 1.95 per cent while Shanghai Composite declined by 0.10 per cent. Singapore market was closed today.

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