The key Indian equity indices closed at new highs yet again on Tuesday as sentiments remained upbeat on hopes of timely arrival of monsoon rains, and healthy buying was witnesses in healthcare, banking and automobile stocks.
However, the gains of the benchmark indices were marginal on the back of outflow of foreign funds, negative global cues and caution ahead of release of major domestic macro-economic data.
The 30-scrip Sensitive Index (Sensex) of the BSE closed at a new closing high of 31,159.40 points -- up 50.12 points or 0.16 per cent -- after scaling a new intra-day high of 31,220.38 points.
The wider 51-scrip NSE Nifty closed at a new high of 9,624.55 points -- up 19.65 points or 0.20 per cent.
The BSE market breadth, however, was bearish -- with 1,479 declines and 1,198 advances.
"Markets inched higher to yet to another new life high on Tuesday. The movement for the key indices remained in a narrow range in positive zone throughout the day after witnessing an initial period of volatility," Deepak Jasani, Head - Retail Research, HDFC Securities, told IANS.
"Hopes of timely arrival of monsoon rains aided the small gains on the Sensex/Nifty. Broad market indices like the BSE mid-cap and small-cap indices rose and outperformed the main indices."
The S&P BSE mid-cap index rose by 0.83 per cent and the small-cap index by 0.46 per cent.
Anand James, Chief Market Strategist, Geojit Financial Services, said: "Indices continue to march ahead, but with key macro numbers about to pour in, and with VIX (Volatility Index) rising, markets looked a bit restrained."
"Global cues were also far and few, with the European markets turning lower and oil slipping as traders returned after holiday. However, timely onset of monsoons shall continue to underpin domestic sentiments," he added.
The Ministry of Commerce and Industry will release the Index of eight core industries (ECI) figures for April 2017. It will be followed by the release on May 31 of India's quarterly estimates of GDP growth for the fourth quarter of 2016-17.
Subsequently, the monthly automobile sales figures, likely revision of petrol prices and the Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) manufacturing data will be released on June 1.
On the currency front, the rupee weakened by 17 paise to 64.66 per US dollar from its previous close of 64.49.
In investments, provisional data with the exchanges showed that foreign institutional investors (FIIs) sold stocks worth Rs 217.10 crore, while domestic institutional investors (DIIs) bought scrips worth Rs 366.97 crore.
According to Dhruv Desai, Director and Chief Operating Officer of Tradebulls, pharma stocks continued to see strong gains after days of correction.
"Adani Enterprises zoomed over 12 per cent but managed to close around 5.6 percent intra-day as investors reacted positively to the development around its Australian coal project. Adani Enterprises said it had reached an agreement with Australia's Queensland state on royalty payments for its Carmichael coal project, putting the $10 billion project back on track," Desai told IANS.
"Pharma stocks, after correcting for couple of days, witnessed value buying and state-run banks, too, managed to gain nearly two per cent."
Sector wise, the S&P healthcare index surged by 301.18 points, the banking index by 155.98 points, and the automobile index was up by 114.54 points.
On the other hand, the S&P BSE capital goods index fell by 178.96 points, the consumer durables index by 132.14 points and the FMCG index by 99.64 points.
Major Sensex gainers on Tuesday were: Adani Ports, up 3.43 per cent at Rs 339.55; NTPC, up 3.17 per cent at Rs 161.30; Dr. Reddy's Lab, up 2.33 per cent at Rs 2481.40; Hero MotoCorp, up 2.21 per cent at Rs 3748.60; and ICICI Bank, up 1.89 per cent at Rs 320.65.
Major Sensex losers were: Power Grid, down 2.16 per cent at Rs 203.95; ITC, down 1.77 per cent at Rs 310.40; HDFC, down 1.18 per cent at Rs 1580; Larsen and Toubro, down 1.18 per cent at Rs 1766.85; and Bharti Airtel, down 1.09 per cent at Rs 369.