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The Sensex ended 70.35 points, or 0.15 per cent, higher at 46,960.69 and the Nifty settled at 13,760.55, up 19.85 points, or 0.14 per cent, from its previous close — a fifth straight day of record closing highs. (Track Sensex, Nifty Here)
Dr Reddy's Laboratories, Bajaj Auto, Infosys, Wipro and Cipla, closing between 1.53 per cent and 3.35 per cent higher, were the top gainers in the Nifty basket of 50 shares.
On the other hand, IndusInd Bank, HDFC Bank, ONGC, Maruti Suzuki and Indian Oil, down 1.36-3.10 per cent each, were the worst hit among 23 laggards in the index. (Also Read: Stocks To Watch)
Infosys, ICICI Bank and TCS were the biggest contributors to the gain in Sensex, whereas HDFC Bank and HDFC were the largest drags.
"Corporate tax collection for Q3 was up by 49 per cent, and Accenture's results and improved guidance gave a boost to the IT sector. Abundant Liquidity in the markets is also helping the markets remain optimistic," Anita Gandhi, director at Arihant Capital Markets, told NDTV.
Advance tax payments by companies grew 49 per cent Rs 1,09,506 crore in the October-December period, news agency Press Trust of India reported citing a Central Board of Direct Taxes source. The increase can be attributed primarily to the low base last fiscal year, when a corporate tax rate cut to a record low had led to lower tax payouts by companies.
Accenture raised its full-year sales forecast and beat quarterly revenue estimates on Thursday. The Nifty IT index — which tracks stocks of 10 technology companies including TCS and Infosys — ended 1.59 per cent higher.
Overall market breadth, however, favoured losses, with 1,275 stocks ending higher on the BSE against 1,709 closing lower. On the NSE, the advance-decline ratio was much worse, as 708 shares rose against 1,188 that declined.
As the end of the year approaches, global markets have been swinging between broader optimism about COVID-19 vaccines and a global economic recovery and concerns about still rising infections. World equities hovered near record highs as investors awaited more clarity on further stimulus in the US and a Brexit trade deal.
Congressional negotiators in Washington were scrambling on Thursday to agree on details of a $900-billion COVID-19 aid bill. Many investors saw the passing of new measures to support the economy as imminent after data showed the number of Americans filing first-time claims for jobless benefits unexpectedly rose last week.
(With inputs from agencies)