Sensex, Nifty touch record high for second straight day

MUMBAI (Reuters) – The BSE Sensex and Nifty rose on Wednesday, hitting their all-time highs for the second consecutive session as interest rate-sensitive stocks extended a recent rally on hopes of additional monetary policy easing, while firmer regional markets also helped.

Asian shares hit a six-week high as investors counted on the European Central Bank to unveil a stimulus drive at its meeting on Thursday.

Overseas investors bought shares worth a net 12.78 billion rupees ($ 207.64 million) on Tuesday, provisional exchange data showed, buying for a fourth consecutive session. Foreign investors have bought a net $ 518.5 million in Indian shares so far this year, exchange and regulatory data showed.

“There are no negatives now. We are all waiting for the budget. However, there could be some reform measures in between – especially in the banking space,” said Suresh Parmar, head, institutional equities at KJMC Capital Markets.

The benchmark BSE Sensex gained 0.4 percent to 28,800.39 at 0708 GMT. It hit a fresh high of 28,958.10 earlier, surpassing the intraday high touched on Tuesday.

The broader Nifty gained 0.27 percent to 8,719.20, after hitting an all-time high of 8,741.85 earlier in the session, also its second consecutive record high.

Interest rate-sensitive stocks gained after the Reserve Bank of India’s surprise rate cut last week raised expectations of the start of a monetary easing cycle. The NSE’s bank sub-index gained 1 percent to hit a record high at 19,964.95.

State Bank of India gained 2.6 percent while Punjab National Bank (PNBK.NS) added 2.1 percent.

(Reporting by Indulal PM; Editing by Biju Dwarakanath)

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