Sensex ends at new high of 30251, Nifty closes at 9422

The IMD on 18 April forecast this year's monsoon rains at 96% of a 50-year average of 89 cm.

Mumbai: The benchmark Sensex gained over 78 points and the NSE Nifty reclaimed the 9,300-mark in early trade today on widespread gains tracking a firm trend in Asia.

After a strong opening, the 30-share BSE index rallied to 30,197.66 by spurting 264.41 points, or 0.88 per cent.

"Both the indices hit fresh all time high levels in the morning session".

The S&P BSE Auto index closed the session 0.98% higher at 23,218.58, while the Nifty Auto Index closed the session 1.04 % higher at 10,410.75. The BSE Mid-Cap index rose 0.05%, outperforming the Sensex.

"The Met Department's bullish monsoon forecast eased concerns over El Nino weather conditions and added further legs to the ongoing rally".

Local stock markets ended flat on Thursday.

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In investments, provisional data with the exchanges showed that foreign institutional investors (FIIs) sold stocks worth Rs 542.47 crore while domestic institutional investors (DIIs) purchased scrips worth Rs 663.33 crore.

Shanghai Composite Index, however, was down 0.25 per cent.

Bharti Airtel, Hindustan Unilever, HDFC and M&M were the top gainers, while Wipro, TCS, Asian Paints and ICICI Bank lost the most. The stock hit its first high of Rs 700 and low of Rs 658.20 on the NSE.

The gauge had gained 74.45 points in the previous two sessions.

"Cement and media-entertainment stocks complemented the firmness of the equity markets".

The hopes of a good monsoon pulled stocks of companies, such as Chambal Fertilisers, Coromandel International, Finolex Industries, Gujarat State Fertilisers & Chemicals, National Fertilisers, Rashtriya Chemicals and Fertilisers and Zuari Agro Chemicals, up. In the fertiliser and chemicals space, shares of Rashtriya Chemicals and Fertilizers, Fertilisers and Chemicals Travancore (FACT), Madras Fertilizer and Chambal Fertilisers and Chemicals surged by up to 6.89 per cent. The company's profit after tax dropped by 13.8% to Rs 717.75 crore in Q4FY17 as against Rs 833.29 crore during corresponding quarter a year ago.

  • Rita Burton