Sensex ends at fresh closing high, Nifty below 10,850; banks lead

All that happened in the markets today

MARKETS LIVE: Nifty, Sensex, Asian shares, stock market, fiscal deficit
Benchmark indices scaled new peaks on Thursday, tracking global markets, with banking stocks contributing the most to gains amid expectations that the government would increase the foreign investment limits for banks

The government is considering raising the foreign investment ceiling in private banks to 100% and in public lenders to 49%, according to media reports.

The rally in banks was also supported by the government’s decision on Wednesday to trim additional market borrowing by 60 percent for the ongoing fiscal year ending March.

Asian stocks touched record highs as well, with a rally on Wall Street supporting bullish investor sentiment. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose as much as 0.4%.

Meanwhile, The Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council, which will meet today, is likely to take up rationalisation of rates of about 70 items, of which at least 40 are services. Amendment in rules may also be taken up to simplify filing and plug some of the loopholes.