Mumbai, July 24 : A benchmark index of Indian equities markets Thursday hit a record high of 26,292.66 points, surpassing its highest peak of 26,190.44 points of July 8. The index closed at 26,271.85 points, up 124.52 points or 0.48 percent from its previous closing of 26,147.33 points. Healthy buying was observed in metal, information technology (IT), bank, fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) and capital goods stocks. However, consumer durables, healthcare, oil and gas and power scrips came under selling pressure.

The 30-scrip Sensitive Index (Sensex) of the S&P Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), which opened at 26,188.50 points, closed trade at 26,271.85 points, up 124.52 points or 0.48 percent from the previous day’s close at 26,147.33 points. The Sensex touched a high of 26,292.66 points and a low of 26,077.70 points intra-day.Insurance and banking stocks surged as the cabinet approved a proposal to increase foreign direct investment (FDI) limit in the insurance sector to 49 percent from the current 26 percent.

The banking index at the BSE rose by 77.29 points or 0.44 percent. Major gainers were Financial Tech, up 10.00 percent at Rs.365.75; Uco Bank, up 5.83 Rs.107.95; Bank of India, up 4.27 percent at Rs.299.45; and Reliance Cap, up 4.05 percent at Rs.613.95. The S&P BSE metal index rose 196.37 points, IT index jumped 87.79 points, bank index gained 77.29 points, FMCG index increased 60.69 points and capital goods index ended 30.46 points up.

However, consumer durables index fell 80.26 points, healthcare index slipped 30.02 points, oil and gas index dropped 21.22 points and power index ended 7.44 points down. The wider 50-scrip Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) also closed 34.85 points or 0.45 percent up at 7,830.60 points. The Nifty touched a new record high intra-day at 7,835.65 points, surpassing its record high of 7,809.20 points touched Wednesday.

The major Sensex gainers were: Hindalco Inds, up 2.30 percent at Rs.197.55; Tata Steel, up 2.18 percent at Rs.567.05; Hindustan Unilever, up 1.55 percent at Rs.642.30; Wipro, up 1.31 percent at Rs.576.80; and ITC, up 1.09 percent at Rs.356.25. The losers were: Gail India, down 2.04 percent at Rs.429.45; DrReddys Lab, down 0.86 percent at Rs.2,710.55; Hero MotoCorp, down 0.66 percent at Rs.2,536.30; Cipla, down 0.61 percent at Rs.439.30; and Axis Bank, down 0.22 percent at Rs.1,996.65.

Among the Asian markets, Nikkei, ended 0.29 percent down, Hong Kong’s Heng Seng closed 0.71 percent lower. China’s Shanghai Composite Index went 1.28 percent up. In Europe, London’s FTSE 100 was up 0.14 percent, the French CAC 40 was higher 0.86 percent, and Germany’s DAX Index gained 0.49 percent at the closing bell here.