Domestic share markets extended recent gains to a fifth straight day on Wednesday, led by heavyweight Tata Consultancy Services and Reliance Industries shares. The S&P BSE Sensex index rose 393.47 points - or 0.99 per cent - to touch 39,968.04 at the strongest level recorded during the session, and the broader NSE Nifty 50 benchmark climbed to as high as 11,763.05, up 100.65 points - or 0.86 per cent - from its previous close. Gains in auto, IT and select financial stocks pushed the markets higher, however, losses in metal, pharmaceutical and energy shares kept the upside in check. (Track Sensex, Nifty)
The Sensex ended 304.38 points - or 0.77 per cent - higher at 39,878.95, and the Nifty settled at 11,738.85, up 76.45 points - or 0.66 per cent - from its previous close.
Titan, Bajaj Auto, Hero MotoCorp, Maruti Suzuki and Reliance Industries, ending between 2.22 per cent and 4.50 per cent higher, were the top gainers in the Nifty basket of 50 shares.
Reliance Industries, HDFC Bank and Infosys were the top boosts to Sensex. However, overall market breadth was negative, with an advance-decline ratio of 2:3, as 1,078 stocks rose on the BSE against 1,596 that fell.
On the other hand, Bajaj Finance, Bharat Petroleum, Hindalco, Tata Motors and Power Grid, settling with losses of between 2.27 per cent and 4.07 per cent, were the worst hit among 24 laggards in the index.
Going forward, the domestic corporate earnings and the outcome of US presidential elections will determine market direction, according to analysts.
"Main indices have almost reached the last high, given robust improvement in global and domestic economy, in the last two quarters. But the earnings are still behind the curve, and it will be difficult to maintain the buoyancy given high prices," Vinod Nair, head of research at Kochi-based Geojit Financial Services, told NDTV.
Reliance Industries shares settled 2.13 per cent higher at Rs 2,257.15, a day after the conglomerate said its retail arm, Reliance Retail Ventures, will sell a 1.2 per cent stake to Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA) for Rs 5,512.50 crore.
Titan Company shares ended 4.53 per cent higher at Rs 1,254.35 after the firm flagged a strong recovery at its jewellery division in the July-September period. Titan said its jewellery division saw a quarterly recovery rate of 98 per cent while it continued to sell excess gold in its inventory.
Tata Consultancy Services shares closed 0.78 per cent higher, having earlier risen to a record high of Rs 2,761 apiece on the BSE, ahead of its quarterly results. The IT company is also expected to lay out a highly-anticipated share buyback.
Other technology stocks recovered early losses, with the Nifty IT index ending 0.58 per cent higher, after the Trump administration announced a rule that may curb US companies' use of skilled foreign workers by narrowing the definition of "specialty occupations" eligible for H-1B visas. It will require companies to pay higher wages to those enrolled in the visa program.
Equities elsewhere in Asia soared to two-week highs, despite overnight losses in Wall Street after US President Donald Trump abruptly cancelled talks with lawmakers on coronavirus-relief spending plans.
European share markets began Wednesday's session on a sluggish note, with the United Kingdom's FTSE 100 index last seen trading 0.04 per cent lower. While France's CAC 40 index was down 0.13 per cent at the time, Germany's DAX 30 barometer was down 0.26 per cent.
Mr Trump broke off talks with Democrats in a Tweet, saying that negotiations will stop until after the election, when he promised a major stimulus bill, sending US stocks on their steepest drop in two weeks.
Analysts say some jitteriness can be expected in the domestic equity markets in the near term.
"In the short-term, the market may turn a bit volatile, which is visible in the recent performance of secondary indices of mid and small caps, having some resistance to maintain the trend. Sector- and stock-specific momentum, positive or negative, is expected to continue in line with the new norms of business in the economy," said Mr Nair of Geojit.
Sectors like pharmaceutical, chemical, IT and finance are expected to maintain a positive bias, he added.
(With inputs from agencies)