Mumbai: The Sensex vaulted over 1,265 points while the broader Nifty cruised past the 9,100-mark on Thursday as hopes of a second stimulus package from the government triggered widespread buying.
Global stocks too were on the mend as investors wagered on Covid-19 cases peaking and countries rolling out more stimulus measures to shore up growth.
After hitting a high of 31,225.20 during the day, the 30-share BSE Sensex ended 1,265.66 points or 4.23 per cent higher at 31,159.62.
Similarly, the NSE Nifty soared 363.15 points, or 4.15 per cent, to 9,111.90.
During the holiday-shortened week, the Sensex rallied 3,568.67 points or 12.93 per cent, while the Nifty soared 1,028.10 points or 12.71 per cent. Markets will remain closed on Friday on account of 'Good Friday'.
Mahindra and Mahindra was the top gainer in the Sensex pack on Thursday, surging 16.74 per cent, followed by Maruti Suzuki (13.16 per cent), Titan (11.12 per cent), Hero MotoCorp (9.65 per cent), Bajaj Finance (9.32 per cent) and HDFC (9.29 per cent).
HUL, Tech Mahindra, IndusInd Bank and Nestle were the only laggards, slipping up to 3.49 per cent.
"Indian markets started trading on a positive note taking upbeat cues from its Asian peers in the morning session as policymakers discussed the process of reopening the global economy as data showed a slowing spread of Covid-19," said Narendra Solanki, Head- Equity Research (Fundamental), Anand Rathi.
During the afternoon session, market further strengthened on back of expectations of second stimulus package estimated at around Rs 1 lakh crore, focussed on helping small and medium businesses, which led to both broad-based buying and also triggered some short covering ahead of the announcement, he added.
A Bank of America Securities report said the Centre may soon announce another fiscal package which may be almost similar to the Rs 1.75 lakh crore stimulus unveiled last month.
However, some experts said the recent upmoves appear to be 'bear market rallies', and cautioned investors against making hasty decisions.
All BSE sectoral indices ended on a positive note, with auto rallying 10.26 per cent, followed by consumer durables, finance, telecom, banking and metals.
Broader midcap and smallcap gauges rose up to 3.63 per cent.
Elsewhere in Asia, bourses in Shanghai, Hong Kong, and Seoul ended on a positive note, while Tokyo closed in the red.
Stock exchanges in Europe started significantly higher ahead of a meeting of EU finance ministers to discuss stimulus measures.
Meanwhile, the rupee provisionally settled 6 paise higher at 76.28 against the US dollar, after hitting its record low in the previous session.
Brent crude futures, the global oil benchmark, rose 4.2 per cent to USD 34.16 per barrel.
The death toll due to the novel coronavirus in India rose to over 160 and the number of cases crossed 5,700, according to the Union Health Ministry.
Global tally of the infections has crossed 14.8 lakh, with over 88,000 deaths.