MUMBAI: The sensex rose for the sixth straight session and crossed the 61,000-point mark for the first time on Thursday, surging 569 points (nearly 1%) to close at 61,306. The sensex has recorded a new high every day of the holiday-shortened week, gaining over 1,200 points in four sessions. The broader Nifty, which crossed the 18k milestone on Monday, also hit a new closing high at 18,339, gaining 177 points (1%) on Thursday. IT stocks joined the rally, which was led by auto, energy, metals and financial sectors this week, bolstered by betterthan-expected Q2 results for Wipro and Infosys. Depreciation of the rupee, which fell below 75 against the dollar this week, too supported the rally in IT stocks, according to market players. A combination of macroeconomic factors, global cues and strong earnings has supported the bullish momentum on Dalal Street, market analysts said. Investors are also expecting strong sales for carmakers in the festive season, which has led to the auto sector being the top gainer, rising nearly 7%, this week. “Markets are in a festive mood and witnessing faster sector rotation. IT was in limelight after strong numbers from Infosys, Wipro and Mindtree. The earning season has started on a strong note and needs to continue delivering strong numbers for the market to sustain the current momentum,” said Motilal Oswal Financial Services head (retail research) Siddhartha Khemka. Of the 30 sensex stocks, 22 closed in the green on Thursday, with ITC, HDFC Bank and PowerGrid being the top gainers. The HDFC twins and ICICI Bank alone contributed 364 points to the sensex’s 569-point sprint on Thursday. Foreign investors were net buyers with Rs 1,596 crore inflows on Thursday, according to NSDL data. “The market continued its bull run as worries about the likely interest rate hike in the US at a later stage and rising bond yields tempered,” said Kotak Securities head (equity research – retail) Shrikant Chouhan. The market capitalisation of the BSE too hit a fresh high at Rs 275 lakh crore.