The 30-share barometer BSE Sensex, which rose for the third straight day, surpassed its previous all-time high of 21,326.42 points set on December 9 when the results of Assembly elections were announced. The Sensex had gained 187.50 in the previous two trading sessions.
"Street beginning to hope for a rate cut. The movement in the Bank Nifty on Tuesday suggests that the markets are beginning to hope for a rate cut at the ensuing meeting of the Reserve Bank of India," brokerage HDFC Securities said. The RBI will announce its monetary policy review on January 28.
The broad-based NSE Nifty rose by 25.15 points to 6,338.95, a little away from record level of 6,363.90. The Bank Nifty rose by 1.49 per cent.
The market received another push on firming trend in the Asian region and higher opening in Europe on signs of improving global economy, brokers said.
The rally was led by healthcare sector, which surged the most by adding 1.31 per cent to 10,317.28 followed by metal index by 0.93 per cent to 9,823.43. Oil and Gas index rose by 0.76 per cent to 8,709.94 and the realty index by 0.55 per cent to 1,350.98.
Sensex at record high of 21,337.67; pharma, metal shares gain
(Reuters) BSE Sensex rose 0.4 per cent to a record closing high on Wednesday, gaining for a third consecutive session as drug makers such as Sun Pharmaceuticals Industries rallied on optimism about their quarterly earnings.
Gains among drug makers helped offset a fall in some banking shares after a central bank panel recommended making taming high retail inflation a priority for monetary policy, raising the prospect of a sustained period of high interest rates.
The BSE Sensex provisionally gained 0.41 per cent to 21,337.67 points, surpassing its previous record close of 21,326.42 hit on Dec. 9. The index remains below its all-time high of 21,483.74 points hit on that day.
The broader BSE Sensex index provisionally ended up 0.4 percent.