Market indices gained over 1% and closed higher on Friday amid positive global equities as investors awaited final results of the US Presidential elections. Extending gains for the fifth straight session, Sensex ended 552 points higher at 41,893 and Nifty gained 143 points to 12,263. Yesterday, Sensex ended 724 points higher at 41,340 and Nifty rose 211 points to 12,120.
After today's trade, Sensex stands just 380 points short of its all-time high of 42,273. Similarly, Nifty needs 167 points to touch its lifetime high of 12,430. During the week, Sensex and Nifty have gained 2,278 points or 5.75% and 621 points or 5.34%, respectively.
Banking heavyweights such as IndusInd Bank, HDFC Bank, Kotak Bank, ICICI Bank led the rally in today's trade. Barring FMCG and pharma, all other sectors saw buying interest today, with banking, financials and realty scrips climbing over 1.5% each. Reliance Industries, followed by M&M, Bajaj Auto, Tata Steel, NTPC, Titan and HDFC were among the top gainers on Sensex. Tech Mahindra, Nestle India, Bharti Airtel, PowerGrid and Infosys were among the laggards.
Overseas, Asian stocks were trading higher on the last day of trading. However, European indices reversed trend and turned red later in the day.
Traders said investors were buoyed globally as hopes of a win by challenger Joe Biden in the presidential race might result in an additional economic stimulus for the coronavirus-hit economy. Democratic candidate Joe Biden is ahead of Republican nominee President Donald Trump, winning Michigan and Wisconsin and is just 6 votes short of 270 in terms of electoral votes. As per latest numbers, Joe Biden has won 264 electoral college votes, while US President Donald Trump has won 214 votes.
Sentiment strengthened further after Bank of England ramped up stimulus by a bigger-than-expected 150 billion pounds ($195 billion), in a move to cushion Britain's struggling economy against the hit from a second coronavirus lockdown.
Worldwide, there were 490 lakh confirmed cases and 12.39 lakh deaths from COVID-19 outbreak. India's COVID-19 caseload breached the 84-lakh mark and death toll from COVID-19 infections rose to 1.25 lakh, as of today.
Wall Street stocks closed higher witnessing sharpest weekly gains after the US Federal Reserve kept interest rates unchanged near zero and pledged to monetary action when required, noting the economy remained well below pre-pandemic levels. Investors cheered the fading possibility of higher taxes under a split congress.