Domestic stock markets continued to rise on Friday after a day's halt in a rally that pushed the S&P BSE Sensex index above the 46,000 mark for the first time ever. The S&P BSE Sensex index rose 229.14 points — or 0.50 per cent — to touch an all-time high of 46,189.02 in the first few minutes of trade. The broader NSE Nifty 50 benchmark rose to as high as 13,547.05, adding 68.75 points — or 0.51 per cent — to its previous close, inches from its all-time high of 13,548.90. (Also Read: Stocks To Watch Today)
Top percentage gainers in the Nifty basket of 50 shares were ONGC, GAIL, Indian Oil, UPL and State Bank of India (SBI), trading between 2.19 per cent and 6.49 per cent higher.
On the other hand, Infosys, Adani Ports, Tech Mahindra, Divi's Lab and Eicher Motors, down 0.45-0.69 per cent each, were the worst hit among 11 laggards in the index.
Reliance Industries, HDFC, ICICI Bank and SBI were the biggest boosts for Sensex, contributing more than 100 points to the gain in the index.
The markets have been riding on hopes of a fast recovery from the coronavirus-caused slowdown and also on foreign fund inflows.
Analysts awaited macroeconomic data for near-term cues. Data on factory activity will be released after market hours on Friday, and that on consumer inflation on Monday.
Retail inflation likely fell to 7.10 per cent in November from 7.61 per cent in the previous month, but remained above the Reserve Bank of India's target amid high food and petrol prices, according to a poll of economists by news agency Reuters.
Asian markets moved lower as concerns about US stimulus and climbing COVID-19 cases weighed globally on optimism. MSCI's broadest index of Asia Pacific shares outside Japan was down 0.26 per cent at the last count. Japan's Nikkei 225 benchmark traded 0.54 per cent lower.
Overnight in the US, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.23 per cent and the S&P 500 lost 0.13 per cent, but the technology stocks-heavy Nasdaq Composite added 0.54 per cent.
US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said negotiations over a new COVID-19 relief package were making "a lot of progress," although lawmakers in both parties said action could take longer than originally hoped as sticking points remained and Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's staff were skeptical compromises could be made.
Attention on the stimulus package grew sharper after new data showed the number of Americans filing first-time claims for jobless benefits jumped to a near three-month high, as spiking COVID-19 cases weighed on economic activity.
In Britain, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said there was a "strong possibility" the nation could split from the European Union with a trade agreement.
Oil prices climbed nearly 3 per cent, with Brent hitting levels not seen since early March, on hopes of a speedier recovery thanks to COVID-19 vaccines. Brent crude rose 2.8 per cent.