The benchmark BSE Sensex built on gains to close at record high for a third straight session today riding on smart jump in Coal India, Reliance Industries and ITC amid positive leads from global markets.
Extending the record run for third day, the 30-share Sensex closed at fresh life high of 34,443.19, eking out gains of 90.40 points, or 0.26 per cent, after a choppy trade.
Caution prevailed as crude prices surged to the highest level since 2015.
"With indices hitting record peaks on successive days, caution dominated the day's proceedings, especially with midcaps pulling back from days peaks. Investors are likely to remain focused on stock specific moves eyeing the prospects of earnings season and mixing and matching various elements of the upcoming union budget," Anand James, Chief Market Strategist, Geojit Financial Services, said.
Profit booking in some pharma, capital goods and telecom stocks at record levels, however, pulled the index to a low of 34,343.41 before close.
The index has risen by 559.41 points in the previous three straight sessions.
Foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) have been supporting the ongoing rally by pumping in sizeable capital, brokers said.
"Sustained foreign inflows and optimism ahead of October-December 2017 earnings and the Union Budget 2018 aided gains," Karthikraj Lakshmanan, Senior Fund Manager Equities, BNP Paribas Mutual Fund, said.
Signs of easing geo-political tensions buoyed investor sentiment globally, he added.
Asian markets, which have seen their best start since 2006, gained with Hong Kong recording 11 straight wins and Tokyo at a 26-year high, as investors press on with a global rally.
Back home, Coal India was the biggest gainer on both Sensex and Nifty components after its board approved a hike in prices of non-coking coal for power and non-power sectors with immediate effect. Coal India rose 5.76 per cent on NSE and 5.63 per cent on BSE, followed by Yes Bank 2.31 per cent.
In contrast, Bharti Airtel, Adani Ports, Hero MotoCorp, Sun Pharma, NTPC, Bajaj Auto, Maruti Suzuki, ICICI Bank, SBI, Hind Unilever, L&T, Dr Reddy's, Power Grid, HDFC Ltd, TCS, ONGC and Axis Bank fell by up to 1.18 per cent largely on profit-booking and squeezed the rise in the key indices.
On the sectoral index chart, realty jumped the most by surging 2.17 per cent, followed by consumer durables 0.82 per cent and FMCG 0.29 per cent. Bankex rose 0.12 per cent and oil & gas 0.06 per cent.
While telecom, power, healthcare, teck, auto and capital goods ended in the negative zone.
The broader markets turned somewhat mixed with small-cap index rising 0.08 per cent while mid-cap index shed 0.40 per cent as investors were busy taking money off the table at record levels.
The market breadth turned negative as 1,623 stocks ended lower, 1,369 closed higher while 102 ruled steady.
The total turnover on BSE amounted to Rs 5,442.86 crore, lower than turnover of Rs 6,007.76 crore registered during the previous trading session.