The Sensex and Nifty raced to fresh record highs on Wednesday as gains in financials, auto, and cement counters helped benchmarks extend their winning run for the sixth straight session amid positive global cues.

European equities marched higher after the UK became the first country to approve the COVID-19 vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University.

Serum Institute of India (SII) termed the approval as encouraging news and said the company would now wait for the final nod for the vaccine in India.

After succumbing to profit-booking in afternoon trade, the 30-share BSE Sensex closed up by 133.14 points or 0.28 per cent at a record high of 47,746.22. The barometer scaled its all-time intra-day high of 47,807.85.

Similarly, the broad-based NSE Nifty rose by 49.35 points or 0.35 per cent to finish at its lifetime high of 13,981.95. It touched all-time peak of 13,997 in intra-day trade.

Ultratech Cement topped the Sensex gainers' chart, spurting 4.11 per cent, while Bajaj Finance rose 2.63 per cent and Maruti 2.11 per cent.

Mahindra and Mahindra, Tech Mahindra, Asian Paints, HUL, Kotak Bank, Titan and Nestle India were among the other prominent gainers.

On the other hand, IndusInd Bank, Sun Pharma, Axis Bank, Bharti Airtel, TCS, SBI and Infosys were among the laggards, dropping up to 1.62 per cent.

"Domestic sentiment is upbeat, expecting a nod for Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid vaccine usage in India. Growth sectors like auto, realty and metal led the rally while defensives like pharma continued to remain under pressure.

"Although the market is at its most expensive valuation level, FPIs continue to pump in funds and roll the Indian market higher on a daily basis," said Vinod Nair, Head of Research at Geojit Financial Services.

Sector-wise, the BSE basic materials, auto, realty and metal indices climbed as much as 1.61 per cent, while telecom, teck and IT closed with losses.

In the broader markets, the BSE midcap and smallcap indices advanced up to 0.53 per cent, outperforming the benchmark.

Britain authorised use of a second COVID-19 vaccine, becoming the first country to greenlight an easy-to-handle shot that its developers hope will become the "vaccine for the world".

Asian shares were mixed after a lackluster day on Wall Street. Benchmarks fell in Tokyo and Sydney but rallied in Hong Kong, Seoul and Shanghai.

Japan's Nikkei 225 fell 0.5 per cent, a day after it surged more than 2 per cent to its highest level in more than 30 years. In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 lost 0.3 per cent.

On the other hand, Hong Kong's Hang Seng surged 1.6 per cent, the Shanghai Composite index advanced 1 per cent while South Korea's Kospi jumped 1.9 per cent.

Rising for the fifth straight session, the rupee appreciated by 11 paise to close at 73.31 against the US dollar on Wednesday.

Brent crude futures, the global oil benchmark, rose 0.80 per cent to USD 51.50 per barrel.

Foreign institutional investors remained in the buying mode in the domestic capital markets, purchasing shares worth a net Rs 2,349.53 crore on Tuesday, according to provisional exchange data.