Stocks: Markets ignored the anxiety caused by the geopolitical tension over Ukraine and spurted to all-time highs on a slew of positive domestic factors and robust FII buying ahead of high-stake elections.
The benchmark indices - S&P BSE Sensex and the CNX Nifty - were in a record-breaking spree. The former hovered near the key milestone of 22,000-mark, while the latter breached the historic landmark of 6,500 this week.
Aggressive buying by foreign institutional investors (FIIs), the main market mover, reflected their faith in Indian economy and its growth story in a week when the Election Commission announced the schedule for the Lok Sabha polls.
FIIs bought shares worth Rs 5,044.54 crore in the week, including provisional data of March 7.
Narrowing Current Account Deficit (CAD), rising rupee against the dollar and easing inflation played their part to boosting investor sentiment.
India's current account deficit fell to USD 4.2 billion, or 0.9 per cent of GDP, in December quarter of 2013-14 on the back of a rise in exports and fall in gold imports.
The lower CAD, the difference between outflow and inflow of foreign exchange, bolstered the rupee and attracted increased overseas investment. The Indian currency gained 68 paise, or 1.10 per cent, against the US unit in the week.
Barring healthcare, IT and teck shares, which performed poorly, all other sectoral indices surged. The rally was led by realty, banking, capital goods, metal, oil & gas and power stocks.
Sharp surge was seen in BHEL, ICICI Bank, Axis Bank, RIL, Bharti Airtel, HDFC Bank, Maruti Suzuki, L&T, SBI, Coal India, Hindalco, ONGC, Tata Steel, HDFC, Gail India and ITC.
The Bombay Stock Exchange 30-share gauge resumed lower on global meltdown on fears of an imminent war between Russia and Ukraine as possible sanctions by the West against Moscow, and touched a low of 20,920.98 on Monday.
Sensex bounced back after tension between Russia and Ukraine eased and China retained economic growth target for this year.
After that the BSE barometer never looked back. It rallied to a historic intra-trade high of 21,960.89 before settling at a new closing peak of 21,919.79.
The Sensex zoomed by a whopping 799.67 points, or 3.79 per cent, this week, logging the biggest weekly gain in more than 15 months.
Previously, it had flared up by 833.33 points, or 4.50 per cent, in the last week of November 2012. In the previous three weeks,