Domestic stock markets registered sharp gains on Thursday, led by gains in heavyweight Reliance Industries shares, which rose to a new record high. The S&P BSE Sensex index rose as much as 678 points, and the broader Nifty 50 benchmark touched an intraday high of 11,446.25 - both indices were on course to break a two-day losing streak. Reliance Industries surged as much as 8.5 per cent to Rs 2,344.95 on the National Stock Exchange, contributing more than 400 points to the gain in Sensex.
At 1:49 pm, the Sensex traded 467 points higher at 38,661, and the Nifty was up 113 points at 11,391.
Reliance Industries reinforced its position as the country's most valuable company, crossing a market capitalisation of Rs 14 lakh crore for the first time ever. Strong buying interest in RIL shares came a day after the conglomerate secured a Rs 7,500 crore investment in its retail business from US-based private equity firm Silver Lake.
Axis Bank, Asian Paints, HDFC and Larsen & Toubro were also among the leading gainers on the Sensex.
Out of the 19 sectoral indices compiled by the BSE, 10 traded lower at the time, led by the S&P BSE Metal index, which was down 2 per cent. The consumer durables, telecom, real estate, pharma and IT sectors also witnessed selling pressure.
Oil & gas stocks bucked the trend, with the S&P BSE Energy index up 6 per cent at the time.
Bharat Petroleum, Indian Oil, Asian Paints, Axis Bank, HDFC Life, IndusInd Bank, Grasim Industries, Hero MotoCorp and ONGC were among the top gainers, trading between 1 per cent and 5 per cent higher. On the other hand, Hindalco, Bharti Infratel, Tata Steel, JSW Steel, Dr Reddy's Labs, UPL, Adani Ports, Bharti Airtel, Tech Mahindra, Sun Pharma and NTPC were among the losers.
Overall market breadth was highly positive, as 1,636 shares rose on the BSE against 907 that fell.