The equity benchmark indices rallied for the second straight session and closed at record highs on Wednesday, powered by gains in banking and financial services shares. The investor sentiment has been bullish for equities after the Nifty 50 index surpassed its important psychological level of 16,000 and Sensex topped 54,000 for the first time on hopes of faster economic recovery. The Sensex rose as much as 642.55 points to touch an all-time high of 54,465.91 and Nifty 50 index touched a record high of 16,290.20 in intra-day trading.
The Sensex ended 546 points or 1 per cent higher at an all-time closing high of 54,369.77 and Nifty 50 index advanced 128 points or 0.79 per cent to close at record high of 16,258.80.
Expectations of dovish monetary policy from the RBI on Friday to spur the economic growth in the country also boosted positive sentiment on Dalal Sreet and spurred buying interest in banking and financial services shares, analysts said.
Five of 11 sector gauges compiled by the National Stock Exchange ended higher, led by the Nifty Financial Services index's over 2.5 per cent gain. The Nifty Bank and Private Bank indices also climbed over 2 per cent.
On the other hand, realty, information technology, FMCG and auto indices ended lower.
Broader markets underperformed their bluechip counterparts as Nifty Midcap 100 index dropped 1.2 per cent and Nifty Smallcap 100 index fell 1 per cent.
State Bank of India was among the top Nifty gainers; the stock rose over 2 per cent to close at an all-time high of Rs 456 after the bank's net profit jumped 55 per cent to Rs 6,504 crore in June quarter.
HDFC, Kotak Mahindra Bank, ICICI Bank, Axis Bank, Cipla, Dr Reddy's Labs, Reliance Industries and JSW Steel were also among the gainers.
On the flipside, Grasim, Tata Motors, Titan, Adani Ports, Hindalco, Bharat Petroleum, Nestle India, Sun Pharma and UltraTech Cement were among the losers.
Among the individual shares, Vodafone Idea dropped 20 per cent after yesterday's 10 per cent fall after its promoter Aditya Birla group Chairman Kumar Mangalam Birla offered to hand over his stake in the debt-laden telecom company to the government or any other entity that the centre may consider worthy to keep the company operational.
The overall market breadth was negative as 2,119 shares ended lower while 1,137 closed higher on the BSE.