MUMBAI: Indian equity benchmark Sensex started off the new fiscal on a bullish note and hit an all-time high of 39,115 on Monday, but pared significant gains towards the fag-end of the session and closed higher with nearly 199 points.
The Sensex rally was driven by hopes of an RBI rate cut and positive global sentiment following robust Chinese manufacturing activity and progress in US-China trade talks.
The 30-share gauge opened at 38,858.88 and swung nearly 307 points during the day, touching a record high of 39,115.57 and low of 38,808.74. It finally settled at 38,871.87, showing a rise of 198.96 points, or 0.51 per cent.
Similarly, the NSE Nifty started positively at 11,665.20 and touched a high of 11,738.10 and low of 11,644.75 during the day. The index finally closed at 11,655.60, rising 31.70 points, or 0.27 per cent over its previous close.
The Sensex gains were led by metal, auto, energy and infra sector stocks.
The rally was driven by Tata Motors, Vedanta, Bharti Airtel, Maruti, Reliance Industries, Tata Steel, Larsen and Toubro and HCL Tech. The scrips of these firms rose as much as 7.37 per cent.
Other prominent gainers were Infosys, TCS, SBI, ITC, Yes Bank, Kotak Bank, Hero Moto, Coal India.
Bucking the overall trend, shares of IndusInd Bank, Mahindra and Mahindra, Axis Bank, PowerGrid, HDFC, ONGC, HUL, BajajFinance and HDFC Bank declined.
Sectorally, metal emerged as the top performing BSE index, surging over 2 per cent. Other top sectoral gainers on the BSE were IT, teck, industrials, energy, telecom and auto.
On the other hand, realty and consumer durables indices saw a decline.
Of the 19 sectoral indices, 12 ended in the green and 7 in the red.
The RBI will unveil on Thursday its first bi-monthly monetary policy decision of this new fiscal.
The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) will meet from April 2 to 4 for the first bi-monthly policy statement for 2019-20.
Industry and experts are expecting the central bank to cut the key lending rate -- at which it lends to commercial banks -- by 0.25 per cent so as to boost the economic activities.
"Pre-election rally extended to the new financial year with increase in prospects of political stability, rate cut expectation from RBI and improvement in GST collection in March. A better than expected Chinese economic data and surge in US 10yr yield eased global growth concern which further added impetus to the sentiment. In spite of this, market gave up some gains towards closing due to strong resistance at 11,700 levels, "Vinod Nair, Head of Research, Geojit Financial Services Ltd, said.
Asian markets closed higher amid optimism over China-US trade talks and expansion in manufacturing activity in China in March.
China and the US gave signs of some progress in their last week's discussions on the trade tariff tussle, with another round of talks scheduled to be held this week in Washington.
China's Shanghai Composite Index moved up 2.58 per cent, Hong Kong's Hang Seng rose 1.66 per cent, Japan's Nikkei climbed 1.43 per cent and South Korea's Kospi was 1.29 per cent higher.
In Europe, England's FTSE, Germany's DAX, France's CAC 40 were all trading higher, tracking global cues.
Global crude benchmark Brent Oil was trading at 68.66 per barrel, a rise of 1.60 per cent on Monday.
Rupee and bonds market was closed on Monday on account of annual closing for banks.
Continuing the last month's momentum, foreign investors put in 898.79 crore on a net basis into equities on Monday, while domestic institutional investors turned net sellers, pulling out Rs 1,032.81 crore, provisional data showed.
On a road ahead for the financial markets, Rajesh Cheruvu, Chief Investment Officer, WGC Wealth, said, "Outlook for FY20 remains strong as post-elections markets should see some form of sustained strength with potential emergence of clarity on fiscal policy outlook."
"Earnings in December 2018 quarter indicated encouraging trends and the coming few quarters will benefit from softer prior year earnings, which should help the market going forward. Rising capacity utilisations, irrespective of the outcome in general elections, should eventually help businesses hike prices..." he said.