Sensex, Nifty hit lifetime highs on normal monsoon forecast

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Mumbai, May 11 Extending their record setting run for the second day, benchmarks Sensex and Nifty finished at fresh lifetime highs today as sentiment remained upbeat on forecast of a normal monsoon this year.

The barometer 30-scrip Sensitive Index (Sensex) of the BSE, which opened at 29,915.12 points, traded at 29,919.08 points (at 12.45 p.m.) - up 60.28 points or 0.20 per cent from the previous day's close at 29,858.80 points.

The NSE Nifty too was quoting 24.90 points, or 0.26 per cent, higher at 9,338.95.

On similar lines, the NSE Nifty rose 42.70 points, or 0.46 per cent, at 9,359.55 in opening trade. The Nifty and the Sensex held onto their closing highs today and ended flat in trade. The market breadth was positive as 1,551 shares advanced against a fall of 789 shares, while 127 shares were unchanged.

Banks also gained as investors pinned their hopes on easing bad loans in coming quarters after the government tweaked its laws last week to help tackle the record $150 billion in troubled bank debts.

The indices had ended at record highs in yesterday's session as well after the weather office said monsoon rainfall this year will exceed its earlier forecast, easing inflation worries.

The rupee gained marginally at 64.52 to the United States dollar on Thursday in early session.

Lupin surged the most by climbing 2.32 per cent, followed by Bharti Airtel (1.91 per cent) ahead of its quarterly earnings tomorrow. NTPC, Tata Motors, Hero Motocorp, HDFC and Infosys are down marginally.

Among BSE sectoral indices, consumer durables index was the star-performer and was up 1.63 per cent, auto 1.08 per cent, metal 0.74 per cent and healthcare 0.59 per cent.

However, power fell 1.22 percent, utilities 1.03 percent, oil&gas 0.93 percent, energy 0.63 percent and capital goods 0.51 percent. Shanghai Composite Index fell 0.03 per cent. European indices were trading mixed in their late morning session. In the Asian region, Hong Kong's Hang Seng rose 0.23 per cent, while Japan's Nikkei was up 0.15 per cent in early trade.