Continuing the bull run in the Indian equity markets, the key indices -- the Sensex and the Nifty -- scaled new highs again on Wednesday.
The benchmark indices, which opened on a slightly lower note on weak global cues, pared their losses and closed in the green as healthy buying in metal and automobile stocks buoyed investors' sentiments.
The 30-scrip Sensitive Index (Sensex) of the BSE closed at a new high of 30,658.77 points -- up 76.17 points or 0.25 per cent, from its previous close at 30,582.60 points.
The wider 51-scrip Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) also rose by 13.50 points or 0.14 per cent to 9,525.75 points -- a new closing high.
Besides, during intra-day trade, the BSE Sensex scaled a new high of 30,692.45 points, and the NSE Nifty of 9,532.60 points.
The new intra-day highs of the benchmark indices are also their new 52-week highs.
On Tuesday, the BSE Sensex closed at a high of 30,582.60 points and intra-day high of 30,591.55 points, while the NSE Nifty closed at a high of 9,512.25 points and an intra-day high of 9,517.20 points.
However, the broader markets underperformed the Sensex. The S&P BSE mid-cap index fell by 0.02 per cent and the small-cap index by 0.18 per cent.
Anand James, Chief Market Strategist of Geojit Financial Services, said: "Scaling of 9,500, a psychological mark in the Nifty, boosted investors' sentiments, while continued FII (foreign institutional investors) buying and consistently low volatility also served to help investors allay fears of sustainability of ongoing rally."
On the currency front, the rupee weakened by seven paise to 64.15-16 per US dollar from its previous close of 64.08-09.
In investments, provisional data with the exchanges showed that FIIs sold stocks worth Rs 731.39 crore, while domestic institutional investors (DIIs) purchased scrips worth Rs 614.51 crore.
"Banking sector stocks traded with bearish sentiments throughout the session on profit booking. Shares of Tata Steel gained over eight per cent, after it reported a stellar set of numbers for the fourth quarter on a standalone basis," Dhruv Desai, Director and Chief Operating Officer of Tradebulls, told IANS.
"Power sector stocks complemented the firmness of the equity markets."
Sectorwise, the S&P metal index augmented by 267.22 points, followed by the automobile index by 135.40 points, and the capital goods index by 38.87 points.
On the other hand, the S&P consumer durables index fell by 121.65 points, the oil and gas index slipped by 52.85 points, and the healthcare index was down by 44.97 points.
Major Sensex gainers on Wednesday were: Tata Steel, up 7.95 per cent at Rs 493.35; Tata Motors, up 2.82 per cent at Rs 449.65; ICICI Bank, up 2.35 per cent at Rs 309.80; Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), up 0.99 per cent at Rs 2,451.35, and Asian Paints, up 0.88 per cent at Rs 1,153.85.
Major Sensex losers were: Wipro, down 1.70 per cent at Rs 506.05; Adani Ports, down 1.40 per cent at Rs 349.25; Cipla, down 0.94 per cent at Rs 559.10; HDFC, down 0.89 per cent at Rs 1,552.65; and ITC, down 0.56 per cent at Rs 281.85.