Key Indian equity indices - the BSE Sensex and the NSE Nifty - closed at new highs on Wednesday, on reports that the government's weather forecaster has predicted healthy monsoon rains.
At 3.15 pm, the 30-share BSE index Sensex was up 16.53 points or 0.05 per cent at 30,264.70 and the 50-share NSE index Nifty was up 16.1 points or 0.17 per cent at 9,423.40.
The BSE benchmark Sensex, which rose to 30,346.79, is now at 30,315.50, up 67.33 points or 0.22% from previous close.
Both indices also scaled new closing highs with BSE Sensex settling the day 315 points higher at 30,248 while the broader Nifty50 was ended at 9,407, up 90 points.
At around 9.30 am, the BSE Sensex hit 30,306 while the Nifty was up 26.75 points at 9,434, led by metal and realty stocks.
Among the top gainers, Wipro, Axis Bank, Adani Ports, Larsen & Toubro and International Olympic Committee rose 1-3 percent.
The BSE market breadth was bullish - with 898 advances and 382 declines.
The monsoon delivers about 70 per cent of India's annual rainfall and is a critical factor as almost half of the country's farmland lacks irrigation.
The stock markets in the United States have so far put in a mixed performance owing to the abrupt dismissal of the Federal Bureau of Investigation chief and other factors.
Earlier in the week, the head of the country's weather office, forecast a higher monsoon rainfall as concerns over the El Nino weather condition eased, raising prospects of higher farm and economic growth. "Financial services stocks were also seen rallying reflecting markets' expectations for further strength in equities", said Anand James, Chief Market Strategist, Geojit Financial Services in a note.
Bharti Airtel was the biggest gainer in the Sensex pack, surging 7.87 per cent to Rs372.70 even as the company reported its lowest quarterly profit in four years for the January-March period.
The gauge had gained 74.45 points in the previous two sessions. Asian Paints, ONGC, Infosys, Sun Pharma, TCS, Hero MotoCorp too advanced. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index closed up 0.4%, while South Korea's Kospi index ended 1.2% higher.
However, power fell 1.22 per cent, utilities 1.03 per cent, oil&gas 0.93 per cent, energy 0.63 per cent and capital goods 0.51 per cent.