Expectations of strong corporate numbers, renewed flows from foreign investors and a firm trend in the Asian markets pushed the benchmark Sensex to a new record high on Thursday, which also saw Reliance industries re-entering the $100 billion market capitalisation club.

The 30-share Sensex rose 282.48 points or 0.78% to close at a record 36,548.41 as banking and energy stocks led the surge. During intra-day trading, the index touched a new high of 36,699.53 before seeing some amount of profit booking.

Incidentally, the Sensex has now gained nearly 1,000 points in the last five sessions.

The broader Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) ended the day above the 11,000-mark at 11,023.20 gaining 74.90 points or 0.68%. The index had touched a high of 11,130.40 on January 29.

"Markets have crossed all time highs on the back of global cues as well as solid start to earnings season with TCS beating expectations," said Gautam Duggad, Head of Research, Motilal Oswal Institutional Equities.

"We expect the markets to remain in a tight range albeit with higher volatility in 2018 given the busy political calendar ahead," added Mr Duggad.

Reliance Industries was the top gainer in the Sensex pack on Thursday, gaining 4.42% or ₹45.85 to close at ₹1,082.20. It also became the second Indian company to cross $100 billion mark in market capitalisation after TCS.

Interestingly, Reliance Industries had first touched this milestone on October 29, 2007.

Deepak Jasani, Head Retail Research, HDFC Securities, is of the view that investors have been enthusiastic ever since the company announced its vision at the annual general meeting held last week.

"Investors seem to be enthused by the vision pronounced by the chairman at the AGM of a strategic move to a technology platform company with three key verticals of mobile connectivity, fiber connectivity and new commerce platform for the retail business," said Mr Jasani.

Meanwhile, foreign investors seem to have reversed their selling trend seen in the last three months. In July, overseas investors have been net buyers at nearly ₹1,500 crore.

The market breadth, however, was weak with nearly 1,500 stocks losing ground on BSE as against 1,153 gainers.

Most of the leading Asian indices like Hang Seng and Nikkei also traded strong on Thursday lifting investor sentiments.

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