The benchmark BSE Sensex gained over 260 points to record all time high at 22046.58 in early trade today on sustained buying by funds and retailers amid a firming trend in other Asian markets.
NSE Nifty rose as much as 1.2 per cent on Monday to a record high, surpassing its previous all-time high hit just last week, as lenders including ICICI Bank extended a recent rally on the back of strong foreign investor flows. The NSE's bank sub-index has surged around 14 percent so far this month, outperforming the nearly 5 percent gain in the Nifty.
The Nifty rose to an all time high of 6,575.80 points, and was up 1.2 percent at 9:48 a.m., surpassing its previous all-time high hit on March 18.
The 30-share BSE SEnsex, which had gained 15.23 points in the previous two sessions, was trading at 22023.29 at 10 am.
All the sectoral indices, led by PSUs, banking and metals, were trading in the positive zone with gains up to 1.08 per cent.
ICICI Bank (2.54%), State Bank of India (SBI) (1.97%), HDFC Bank (1.88%), Coal India (1.88%), Housing Development Finance Corporation Ltd (HDFC) (1.79%) and
Tata Power Ltd (1.77%) are major gainers.
Analysts have cited heavy buying by foreign investors into a sector that last year under-performed the broader index, while expectations the Reserve Bank of India would keep interest rates on hold at its policy review on April 1 are also aiding the gains.
Among other Asian markets, Hong Kong's Hang Seng index rose by 1.03 per cent while Japan's Nikkei gained 1.83 per cent in early trade today.