Domestic stock markets climbed to record highs on the first full session of Samvat 2077, tracking strength in global equities as investors cheered the news of another promising coronavirus vaccine and optimism around world recovery. The S&P BSE Sensex index jumped 523.18 points - or 1.20 per cent - to touch 44,161.16 during the session, and the broader NSE Nifty 50 benchmark climbed up 153.80 points to 12,934.05 -- both all-time highs. Gains in banking, financial services and metal shares supported the markets, however losses in select IT, pharma and energy shares limited the upside.
The Sensex ended 314.73 points - or 0.72 per cent - higher at 43,952.71, and the Nifty settled at 12,874.20, up 93.95 points - or 0.74 per cent - from its previous close -- both record closing highs.
Tata Motors, Tata Steel, HDFC Life, SBI and Adani Ports, ending between 3.36 per cent and 6.15 per cent higher, were the top gainers in the Nifty basket of 50 shares. On the other hand, Bharat Petroleum, Hero MotoCorp, NTPC, Indian Oil and ONGC, down 1.93-4.25 per cent each, were the worst hit among 19 laggards.
HDFC Bank, HDFC, SBI and Axis Bank were the biggest contributors to the gain in Sensex.
Analysts say optimism around the development of vaccines for COVID-19 are driving the markets.
"Vaccine hopes for COVID-19 and higher foreign portfolio investor inflows continue to drive market sentiments. Traders are excited on a second vaccine within a week to show results, far exceeding expectations, would ease fears of lockdowns and help economies the world over recover," said Rahul Sharma, market strategist and research head at Equity99 Advisor.
Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Moderna became the second drug maker after Pfizer to announce promising trial data in the development of a COVID-19 vaccine. Moderna said it expects the vaccine to be stable at normal fridge temperatures of 2 to 8 degrees Celsius for 30 days.
Also, Hyderabad-based Biological E on Monday became the latest company in the country to start human trials of its vaccine candidate.
"Meanwhile, the action moved to select mid-cap stocks on better-than-expected earnings posted by most companies. With benchmark indices at a record high, investors continue to remain cautions," Mr Sharma added.
Share markets elsewhere in Asia moved higher tracking overnight record highs in the US. Encouraging earnings stoked risk appetite and US President-elect Joe Biden's COVID advisory team said it was not considering a nationwide shutdown, pushing the three Wall Street benchmarks more than 1 per cent higher.