Mumbai: Equity benchmark Sensex rallied over 300 points in early trade to hit its fresh intra-day record on Thursday tracking gains in index majors HDFC Bank, Reliance Industries and Maruti amid largely positive cues from global markets. After scaling a peak of 44,953.01, the 30-share BSE index was trading 176.87 points or 0.40 per cent higher at 44,794.91.
Similarly, the broader NSE Nifty touched a peak of 13,216.60 before trading 59.05 points or 0.45 per cent up at 13,172.80. Tata Steel was the top gainer in the Sensex pack, rising around 2 per cent, followed by Maruti, ONGC, HDFC Bank, Tech Mahindra, L&T, HCL Tech and SBI.
On the other hand, Axis Bank, Infosys, TCS, Bharti Airtel and M&M were among the laggards. In the previous session, Sensex finished at 44,618.04, down 37.40 points or 0.08 per cent, while the Nifty edged higher by 4.70 points or 0.04 per cent to end at its fresh closing record of 13,113.75.
Foreign institutional investors were net buyers in the capital market as they purchased shares worth Rs 357.35 crore on a net basis on Wednesday, according to provisional exchange data. Domestic markets look to be relatively better than yesterday at the moment. However, the market may trade sideways ahead of the outcome of Reserve Bank's policy meet, said Binod Modi, Head-Strategy at Reliance Securities.
Having witnessed sharp run over last one-month, Nifty valuations appear to be stretched and any negative development may lead to a sharp sell-off, he said, adding that midcap and small-cap stocks should continue to outperform large caps in the near term due to improved earnings visibility and wider valuations gap. "US equities closed modestly higher led by improved prospects of announcement of fiscal stimulus before the year end.
"Statement from the House Majority leader that Congress hopes to reach an agreement on a fiscal package over the weekend and likely to vote on it next week lifted sentiments. However, the quantum of fiscal stimulus would be something, which the market would be keenly watching out for," he added. Elsewhere in Asia, bourses in Hong Kong, Tokyo and Seoul were trading with gains in mid-session deals, while Shanghai was in the red.
Meanwhile, the global oil benchmark Brent crude futures were trading 0.10 per cent higher at USD 48.30 per barrel.