Markets close at new lifetime highs despite late selling

The indices opened the day on a firm note, with a good positive gap from Friday's closing levels. The sensex opened well above 7900 and seemed to be in a hurry to reach the keenly awaited level of 8000.

Good gains in select frontline stocks like ITC, VSNL, Gujarat Ambuja, SBI, Hero Honda and Hindalco kept the trading interest alive throughout the session. The indices maintained a steady trend with a positive bias till late in the afternoon.

The Sensex went within 20 points of the 8000 mark by early afternoon and touched a new lifetime high of 7983. The Nifty also recorded a new lifetime high of close to 2440.

A bout of profit booking in late afternoon trades saw the indices declining fast and losing most of their intra-day gains within half-an-hour. The attempt at recovery during the closing minutes was too feeble to regain much ground. Both indices, however, closed at new lifetime closing highs.

Sensex closed at 7925, a gain of 25 points, and the Nifty at 2423, a gain of 7 points. Nifty September futures closed at a discount of 6 points to the spot index.

Gujarat Ambuja Cement, ABB and ITC were the biggest gainers on the Nifty while BPCL, Zee Tele and SAIL were the major losers.