Sensex crosses 25,000 mark; settles at 24,124

The Bombay Stock Exchange Sensex soared over 1,400 points to a new record high today, crossing the psychological 25,000 mark for the first time, while the National Stock Exchange's broader-based Nifty surged over 400 points to an all-time high of 7,553.90, as the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance headed for a comfortable majority in the 16th Lok Sabha elections.

Meanwhile, the Indian rupee traded at a 10-month high of 58.76 per dollar, as latest trends showed that the NDA would get at least 300 seats in the house, more than enough to form a government on its own.

Indian stock markets have been on a roll on hopes that a stable government post elections in May would pull out all stops to bring the country's sluggish economy on track.

Analysts expect a revival in the investment cycle and fast-tracking of reforms under the new regime.

The rally in markets has come on the back of strong buying by overseas investors. Foreigners betting on a BJP victory have poured more than $16 billion into Indian stocks and bonds in the past six months and now hold over 22 per cent of Mumbai-listed equities - a stake estimated by Morgan Stanley at almost $280 billion.

The Reserve Bank of India and the Securities & Exchange Board of India have jointly formed a special committee to monitor risk management systems through stress tests to address potential liquidity and other volatility-induced crises in currency, equity and bond markets on the poll counting day.

Last time, in 2009, trading had to be halted after markets hit the day's upper circuit celebrating the UPA's return to power with a greater mandate.

Today, banking stocks led the bull charge on Dalal Street, up around 10 per cent. Energy, auto, consumer durable and capital goods stocks traded with over 5 per cent gains.

On the Nifty, 49 of the 50 stocks traded higher. Private lender ICICI Bank surged nearly 12 per cent and was the top Nifty gainer followed by two-wheeler major Hero MotoCorp. State-run Punjab National Bank was up 11 per cent.

Gujarat-based companies also saw strong buying, as the state's chief minister Narendra Modi was poised to become Prime Minister of India.. Adani Enterprises was up 9 per cent, Adani Ports traded 3.5 per cent higher, while Adani Ports traded with 5.3 per cent gains.