Rising for the fifth straight session, equity benchmark Sensex rallied 553 points and closed at a nearly 10-month high on Friday, tracking gains in index-heavyweights Reliance Industries and HDFC twins amid largely positive global market sentiment. The 30-share BSE index ended 552.90 points or 1.34 per cent higher at 41,893.06, while the broader NSE Nifty surged 143.25 points or 1.18 per cent to 12,263.55. On January 14, Sensex had closed at a record peak of 41,952.63.
Reliance Industries was the top gainer in the Sensex pack, surging 3.78 per cent, followed by Bajaj Finserv, IndusInd Bank, HDFC twins and Kotak Bank. On the other hand, Maruti, Bharti Airtel, Asian Paints, UltraTech Cement and Nestle India were among the laggards. According to Hemant Kanawala, Head Equity, Kotak Mahindra Life Insurance, Indian markets rallied in sync with its global peers, putting to the backburner the uncertainties in the US Presidential election. They delivered a broad-based performance, with both Nifty and Nifty midcap indices returning 1.5 per cent over the last week.
Sectorally, BSE energy, bankex, finance, realty and consumer durables indices rallied up to 3.16 per cent, while telecom, healthcare and FMCG fell up to 0.92 per cent. Broader midcap and smallcap indices rose up to 0.54 per cent.
During the week, Sensex soared 2,278.99 points or 5.75 per cent, while Nifty advanced 621.15 points or 5.33 per cent. Positive global sentiment from the US election, expectation of Fed open market operation and improving economic activities have added optimism in the market, said Vinod Nair, Head of Research at Geojit Financial Services.
Markets have surged consistently over the week, and Indian benchmark indices have continued their strong momentum supported by a good set of quarterly numbers and strong foreign fund inflow, he noted.
Democratic leader Joe Biden appeared to be a step away from winning the US presidential election as the latest count of votes from a handful of battleground states indicated that the re-election chances of incumbent Republican President Donald Trump are getting slim by the hour.
By late Thursday night, Biden -- who bagged 253 seats as against Trump's 213 -- appeared to be nearing the magical figure of 270 out of the 538 electoral college votes.
Elsewhere in Asia, bourses in Shanghai ended in the red, while Hong Kong, Seoul and Tokyo closed with gains. Stock exchanges in Europe were trading on a negative note in early deals. Meanwhile, international oil benchmark Brent crude was trading 1.93 per cent lower at USD 40.14 per barrel.
Foreign institutional investors remained net buyers in the capital market as they purchased shares worth Rs 5,368.31 crore on Thursday, according to provisional exchange data. In the forex market, the rupee settled 28 paise higher at 74.08 against the US dollar.