National Stock Exchange (NSE) benchmark indice Nifty surged to a record close of 9,359.90 while the BSE Sensex reclaimed the 30,000-mark on Thursday amid positive investors sentiment drawn from reform steps in the banking and infra space.
Banking stocks surged up to 9 per cent following the government's decision to bring an ordinance to empower the Reserve Bank to effectively deal with bad loans, brokers said.
The Cabinet on Wednesday also announced a policy aimed at boosting steel output and consumption. Sentiment also remained upbeat following strong earnings by the country's biggest private lender ICICI Bank and the US Federal Reserve's decision to keep its policy rate unchanged.
The 50-share NSE Nifty spurted 47.95 points, or 0.51 per cent to end at a lifetime high of 9,359.90. It shuttled between 9,365.65 and 9,323.25 during the session.
Its previous record closing of 9,351.85 was registered on April 26.
The BSE Sensex stayed in the positive terrain through the session and zoomed to 30,169.95 before settling 231.41 points, or 0.77 per cent higher at 30,126.21 -- its highest level since April 26 when it closed at a record high of 30,133.35.
"Government is one step closer to new NPA policy and the national steel policy has given some energy to the market.
"Fed kept the rates on hold amid slow pace in economic growth but the market is not expecting any deviation from two more hikes in this calendar year," said Vinod Nair, Head of Research, Geojit Financial Services.
Bank Nifty soared to close at an all-time high of 22,720.10 after touching an intra-day record peak of 22,743.70, with Canara Bank, SBI, Axis Bank, Bank of Baroda, Punjab National Bank, IDFC Bank and Federal Bank rising by up to 6.47 per cent.
Shares of ICICI Bank touched a 52-week high of Rs 299.90 before settling 9.24 per cent higher at Rs 297.95, driven by a five-fold jump in March quarter profit.
On the macro front, services sector grew for the third straight month in April but the pace of growth moderated amid slower rise in new business and employment, the Nikkei India Services Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) showed.
Meanwhile, foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) sold shares worth a net Rs 517.74 crore yesterday, as per provisional data released by the stock exchanges.
Globally, European stocks were higher in their early trade as investors assessed the outlook for US interest rates.
London's FTSE climbed 0.40 per cent, Frankfurt's DAX 30 gained 0.20 per cent, while Paris CAC 40 rose 0.20 per cent. Back home, 18 scrips in the 30-share Sensex pack ended higher, while the remaining 12 closed with losses.
Major gainers were ICICI Bank 9.24 per cent, Adani Ports 3.68 per cent, Axis Bank 3.63 per cent, SBI 3.27 per cent, HUL 2.36 per cent, ITC 1.41 per cent, Asian Paints 1.29 per cent and Hero Motocorp 0.77 per cent.
However, Tata Motors fell 2.27 per cent, ONGC 1.15 per cent, M&M 0.89 per cent, Cipla 0.84 per cent, Reliance 0.84 per cent and TCS 0.44 per cent.
Among the sectoral indices, Bankex rose 2.32 per cent, Consumer Durable 1.41 per cent, Finance 1.38 per cent and FMCG 1.08 per cent.
The BSE Mid-cap and Small-cap indices rose 0.48 per cent and 0.36 per cent respectively.The market breadth turned positive as 1,453 stocks advanced, 1,406 stocks finished in red and 146 ruled steady.