Mumbai: The benchmark Sensex today rose over 67 points to end near its record close on positive global cues and as investors started taking positions with just about a month left for the Lok Sabha elections. Indian stocks largely shrugged off weak European opening as realty, capital goods and banking stocks helped the bluechip index close in the positive terrain after it witnessed intra-day volatility, said traders.
After logging 263.08-point rise yesterday, the Sensex jumped to 21,333.20 in early trades today but profit-booking set in. Sustained buying, including from overseas investors, helped 30-share index end 67.13 points up at 21,276.86. At this level, the index is just 100 points away from its record closing high of 21373.66 (rpt 21373.66) on January 23 (rpt) January 23.
ICICI Bank, which gained 2.7 per cent and alone added over 40 points alone to the Sensex kitty, led the 17 index gainers while Tata Power led the 13 laggards. The 50-scrip CNX Nifty of the NSE improved 30.70 points, or 0.49 per cent, to end at 6,328.65. Easing of Ukraine-related geopolitical fears after Russian President Vladimir Putin yesterday signalled the crisis won't immediately escalate and retaining of economic growth targest for this year by China's leaders, aided buying.
PSU bank stocks like SBI saw some activity after Finance Minister P Chidambaram said the government will continue to provide capital support to state-run banks, but the lenders are expected to focus on profitability. Election Commission announced dates for the high-stakes Lok Sabha elections to be held between April 7 and May 12.
“So now, it's important to see how the markets progress ahead of the event as we have been struggling for sustainability at higher levels for quite sometime,” said Jayant Manglik, President-retail distribution, Religare Securities.
Other Sensex-based scrips like ONGC, Infosys, ITC, HDFC also notched handsome gains, while RIL, Bharti Airtel, Tata Motors suffered losses.