Mumbai: Benchmark indices BSE Sensex and Nifty 50 extended their record-breaking streak for the third straight session Friday as healthy earnings by bluechip companies and GST rate cut gave fresh impetus to the buying momentum.

BSE Sensex rose 251.29 points to end at a fresh lifetime high of 35,511.58, while the broader Nifty 50 advanced 77.70 points to record 10,894.70. Intraday, it breached the 10,900-mark for the first time.

Investor sentiment got a leg-up after the GST Council on cut the tax rate on 29 goods and 54 categories of services. Encouraging December quarter results by bluechip firms like HDFC Bank Ltd and ITC Ltd added to the cheer.

Opening higher on Friday, the 30-share Sensex surged to an all-time high of 35,542.17 on a string of encouraging earnings. It finally ended 251.29 points, or 0.71% higher at 35,511.58—bettering its previous record closing of 35,260.29 hit Thursday. The index has now rallied 740.53 points in three straight sessions.

The 50-share NSE Nifty settled higher by 77.70 points, or 0.72%, at 10,894.70. The index surpassed its previous lifetime closing high of 10,817 recorded in Thursday’s session. Intraday, it touched an all-time high of 10,906.85.

This was the seventh week of gains in a row for the markets. The Sensex recorded a significant rise of 919.19 points, or 2.65% while the Nifty gained 213.45 points, or 1.99%, in the week.

“The government’s decision to cut GST rates for few more items and a good start to earnings season added energy in the market. Market is anticipating a sea change in the earnings with a growth of 15-20% in PAT (profit after tax) led by revamp in businesses and low base effect. Moreover, positive trend in global market and drop in crude prices influenced buying pattern," said Vinod Nair, head of research, Geojit Financial Services.

Foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) have been supporting the ongoing record run by infusing sizeable capital. They bought shares worth Rs1,894.99 crore while domestic institutional investors (DIIs) sold equities worth Rs657.46 crore on Thursday, according to provisional data from the stock exchanges.

On the sectoral front, bankex jumped 1.52%, followed by realty (1.26%), infrastructure (1.19%), PSU (1.06), capital goods (0.92%), metal (0.91%) oil and gas (0.87%), power (0.46%), healthcare (0.43%), FMCG (0.42%), IT (0.36%) and auto (0.15%).

In the Sensex space, Adani Ports and SEZ Ltd took the pole position by surging 4.68% in reaction to strong Q3 results, followed by Yes Bank Ltd at 2.37%. The private sector lender yesterday reported 22% rise in net profit at Rs1,076.87 crore for the third quarter ended 31 December 2017.

HDFC Bank Ltd too gained 1% after it reported a 20.1% growth in net profit to Rs4,642.6 crore for the third quarter of the current fiscal. ITC Ltd rose 0.37% after the company on Friday reported a 16.75% rise in its net profit at Rs3,090.20 crore for the December quarter. Reliance Industries Ltd gained 1.09% ahead of its earnings.

ICICI Bank Ltd, State Bank of India, Tata Consultancy Services Ltd (TCS), Kotak Mahindra Bank Ltd, Axis Bank Ltd, Larsen and Toubro Ltd (L&T), Mahindra and Mahindra Ltd, Dr Reddy’s Laboratories Ltd, Bajaj Auto Ltd, Wipro Ltd, Bharti Airtel Ltd, Coal India Ltd, Hindustan Unilever Ltd and Asian Paints recorded gains of up to 2.15%.

In the broader markets too, investors were busy creating fresh positions, lifting the small cap index by 0.88% and mid-cap by 0.77%.

In Asian markets, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng ended 0.41% higher, while Japan’s Nikkei gained 0.19%. Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.38%. In Europe, Frankfurt’s DAX rose 0.87%, while Paris CAC 40 was up 0.45% in their early deals. London’s FTSE too rose 0.11%.

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