MUMBAI: Stock markets registered fresh gains on Thursday with the benchmark Sensex closing with a 70-point gain after touching its highest level in a year, helped by heavyweight Reliance Industries and expectations of robust industrial growth.
The Bombay Stock Exchange's 30-share index settled at 17167.96 points, up 69.63 points. In the intra-day trade, it rose to as high as 17215.07, a new 52-week peak, but pared some of the gains on profit booking in blue-chips such as HUL, RCom, Tata Power, Hindalco and ACC.
The National Stock Exchange's 50-share Nifty index closed 17 points higher at 5133.40.
“Though the market touched the year high level but there was no support at the higher levels as volume was sluggish. The market was up on the expectation of better IIP figures scheduled tomorrow, but fell from the highs on the lack of volume support from the buyers,” CNI Research CMD Kishore P. Ostwal said.
Since the Union Budget on February 26, foreign funds have put in nearly $ 2 billion in the Indian stocks helping the key benchmark index rally over 900 points.
Market is trading in a narrow range, with positive bias to close with marginal gains. Market chart suggests no clear direction of the trend, domestic brokerage firm Angel Broking said in its research note.
RIL, which has the highest weight in Sensex, rose for the second consecutive day. The scrip closed higher by 0.84 per cent at Rs. 1,016.55 on the BSE.
Rupee drops 23 paise
The rupee on Thursday depreciated by 23 paise against the U.S. currency on fresh demand for dollar from banks and importers in spite of persistent capital inflows from foreign funds into the equity markets.
At the interbank foreign exchange (Forex) market, the rupee closed 23 paise lower at 45.61/62 a dollar against its previous close of Rs. 45.39.
It hovered in a range of 45.63 and 45.40 during the day. — PTI