Sensex breaches 24000-mark; Re hits a 10-month high

The stock markets continued a buoyant trend driving the Bombay Stock Exchange sensitive index (Sensex) vaulting above the 24,000-mark for the first time on sustained FII buying after exit polls showed the BJP-led NDA will form the new government at the centre.

The rupee also rose on Tuesday to its strongest close against the dollar in nearly 10 months. The partially convertible rupee closed at 59.66/67 per dollar, its strongest close since 29 July, after ending at 60.05/06 on Monday.

The 30-share BSE benchmark, after opening on a strong note, breached the 24,000 level to trade at an all-time high of 24,068.94, surging 517.94 points, or 2.19 per cent, at 12 pm.

The Sensex hit a high of 24068.94 points and a low of 23729 points before closing at 23,871.23, showing a gain of 320.23 points (1.36 per cent)

The rally was led by power, consumer durables, PSUs, banking and capital goods stocks, with Coal India, Reliance Industries, SBI, ICICI Bank, NTPC, ONGC, Larsen and Toubro, ITC, Maruti Suzuki and Infosys emerging winners.

Besides the exit poll trigger, positive global cues also influenced buying by foreign funds.

The power sector index gained the most by rising 4.45 per cent to 1,875.41, followed by capital goods index by 4.17 per cent to 13,450.52.

GAIL (India) and Reliance Infrastructure hit 52-week high. Realty stocks edged higher. Bank of Baroda gained after good Q4 results. Dr Reddy's Laboratories dropped after weak Q4 results. Bharat Heavy Electricals (BHEL) surged on reports that the cabinet is likely to ratify today (13 May) the decision to sell 4.66 per cent stake in the company through a block deal.

Construction stocks also rallied.

Various exit polls on Monday predicated that the NDA will be able to form the next government at the Centre by winning 272 or more seats or will bag just few seats lower than the majority 272 seats needed to form the next government in a house of 543 (See: Sensex, Nifty surge as exit polls see clear win for Modi-led NDA).

The exit polls were out on Monday evening after the 9th and the final phase of Lok Sabha elections got over at 6 pm on that day.

The counting of votes will take place on 16 May and the results are expected on the same day.

The term of the current Lok Sabha ends on 1 June and the new House has to be constituted by 31 May.