Mumbai, Sep 16 (PTI) Market benchmark Sensex scaled the 59,000-mark for the first time on Thursday as investors remained in risk-on mode following the government's policy support measures for various sectors.

Advancing for the third consecutive session, the 30-share BSE index climbed 417.96 points or 0.71 per cent to its new closing peak of 59,141.16. It touched an intra-day record of 59,204.29.

Similarly, the broader NSE Nifty surged 110.05 points or 0.63 per cent to finish at its fresh lifetime high of 17,629.50. During the session, it scaled an all-time peak of 17,644.60.

IndusInd Bank was the top gainer in the Sensex pack, spurting 7.34 per cent, followed by ITC, SBI, Reliance Industries, Kotak Bank, ICICI Bank and Axis Bank.

In contrast, TCS, Tata Steel, Tech Mahindra, Bharti Airtel, HCL Tech and Dr Reddy’s were among the laggards, slipping up to 1.32 per cent.

"Driven by reforms, the Indian market kept raising its bar and traded to new record highs. Today's market rally was driven by strong buying in Banking stocks especially in PSBs. The banking sector is expected to perform well in the coming days as the sector which failed to fairly participate in the ongoing rally due to fear over asset quality is gaining traction.

"Asian markets traded with cuts as the fall in Chinese property stocks pushed Asian stocks down while European markets traded with positive sentiments," said Vinod Nair, Head of Research at Geojit Financial Services.

S Ranganathan, Head of Research at LKP Securities, said, "Ahead of the operationalisation of the National Asset Reconstruction Company (NARCL), banks provided the much needed ammunition to the bulls to notch up record highs of 59K on the Sensex. The charge of the energised bulls took India's market capitalisation ahead of France as PSU banks lent the firepower." BSE bankex was the biggest sectoral gainer, jumping 2.12 per cent, followed by energy, finance, FMCG and oil & gas indices. Metal, teck, IT and basic materials were among the losers.

In the broader market, the BSE midcap and smallcap gauges rose up to 0.48 per cent.

Asian equities sank after liquidity crisis at Chinese real estate major Evergrande Group fanned fears of a broader contagion. Bourses in Shanghai, Seoul, Tokyo and Hong Kong ended with significant losses.

However, equities in Europe were trading with robust gains in mid-session deals.

Meanwhile, international oil benchmark Brent crude rose 0.16 per cent to USD 75.58 per barrel.

The rupee slipped 2 paise to close at 73.52 against the US currency on Thursday, tracking a strengthening greenback in the overseas markets.

Foreign institutional investors (FIIs) were net buyers in the capital markets as they purchased shares worth Rs 232.84 crore on Wednesday, as per provisional exchange data.