Mumbai: A benchmark index of the Indian equities markets soared to a new high of 21,525 points Thursday, led by strong buying support from foreign funds ahead of the general elections.

The 30-scrip S&P Sensex (sensitive index) of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) hit a new record high of 21,525.14 points, surpassing its previous high of 21,483.74 points touched Dec 9 last year.

The Sensex also touched a record closing high of 21,513.87 points.

Narrowing down of current account deficit and the strengthening hope that a Narendra Modi-led National Democratic Alliance government will come to power after the general elections in May have boosted the investors’ confidence.

India’s current account deficit (CAD) narrowed to $4.2 billion in October-December quarter from $5.2 billion in the previous quarter.

As a proportion of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP), the current account deficit fell to an eight-year low of 0.9 percent in the quarter ended December as compared to 6.5 percent recorded in the same quarter of the previous year.

Analysts said strengthening prospects of Narendra Modi, who is seen more business-friendly, becoming prime minister after the national elections, is another major reason for the recent rally in the markets.

Most opinion polls have predicted that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance will come closer to the majority mark required to form the government.

The 30-scrip benchmark index, which opened in the positive at 21,336.32 points, ended the day at 21,513.87 points, up 1.11 percent, or 237.01 points, from its previous day close at 21,276.86 points.

The index touched a high of 21,525.14 points and low of 21,329.88 points in the intra-day.

The wider 50-scrip S&P CNX Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) closed 1.15 percent or 72.50 points higher at 6,401.15 points.

Strong buying support from foreign funds sparked a rally in blue chip stocks like ICICI Bank, RIL and ONGC.

ICICI Bank soared 3.33 percent at Rs.1133.65; RIL jumped 1.87 percent at Rs.822 and ONGC rose 2.91 percent at Rs.309.

Foreign institutional investors were the net buyer for 14th consecutive day. The overseas funds have pumped in nearly $900 million in the last 14 sessions.

Prominent Sensex gainers were: Hindalco Inds, up 4.33 percent at Rs.120.40; BHEL, up 3.78 percent at Rs.172.80; Tata Steel, up 2.38 percent at Rs.364.20; NTPC, up 2.37 percent at Rs.116.70; and Gail India, up 2.32 percent at Rs.383.75.

Only six of the 30 Sensex scrips closed in the red. Cipla, down 1.38 percent at Rs.379.95; Wipro, down 0.86 percent at Rs.584.55; Tata Motors, down 0.45 percent at Rs.407.95; and TCS, down 0.40 percent at Rs.2,241.15 were among the major losers.

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