NIFTY SETTLES ABOVE 10 k

Making record a habit of sorts, the Nifty today closed above 10,000 in a first and the Sensex set a fresh life high, powered by unabated capital inflows amid quarterly earnings optimism.
Speculators covered their short positions ahead of the July derivatives expiry tomorrow, building up the momentum. FII inflows ensured there is enough liquidity to support the stocks despite lingering concerns over stretched valuations. "Better first quarter results and short covering ahead of F&O expiry took the market to new heights... On the global front, rising consensus expectations for status quo on US key interest rate is providing support to the market," said Vinod Nair, Head of Research, Geojit Financial Services.

After hitting a fresh intra-day life high of 10,025.95, the 50-share NSE index ended at a new peak of 10,020.65, up 56.10 points, or 0.56 per cent, surpassing its last closing record of 9,966.40 hit on July 24. Metal stocks contributed big, tracking a rally in global commodity prices -- particularly base metals on expectations of rising demand from China and a weak dollar.

The 30-share Sensex rallied to an all-time high of 32,413.63 too, before ending up 154.19 points, or 0.48 per cent, at a new record 32,382.46. It broke previous closing high of 32,245.87 reached on July 24.

Renewed hopes of a rate cut by the Reserve Bank at its policy meet early next month as the inflation dipped to record low accelerated the buying pace, traders said. Investors were also optimistic that more blue-chip companies might post encouraging earnings numbers in coming days.Risk appetite remained strong on the back of a slew of positive factors, including brightening prospects of the economy, expectations of more reforms, monsoon progress so far and weakness in the dollar, the traders added.

In the Sensex bag, Sun Pharma, ICICI Bank, M&M, HUL, Cipla and NTPC rose by up to 2.12 per cent. Two-wheeler market leader, Hero MotoCorp firmed up 0.21 per cent after the company yesterday posted a 3.5 per cent growth in profit after tax for April-June.
- Private lender Yes Bank climbed 6.10 per cent to close at an all-time high after the company's net profit rose 32 per cent for the first quarter ended June.
- Shares of Axis Bank, however, fell by 2.90 per cent after a drop in net profit.
- Sector-wise, the BSE metal index came out on the top with a gain of 1.74 per cent followed by capital goods, healthcare and banking.

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