Mumbai: Healthy buying in metal and automobile stocks, and a strong rupee took the Indian equity markets to a new high yet again during the mid-afternoon trade session on Friday.

The 30-scrip Sensitive Index (Sensex) of the BSE, which opened at 30,765.77 points, traded at 30,959.62 points (at 12.45 p.m.) -- up 209.59 points or 0.68 per cent from its previous close at 30,750.03 points.

The wider 51-scrip NSE Nifty traded at 9,570.30 points -- up 60.55 points or 0.64 per cent.

The Sensex touched a new intra-day high of 30,977.27 points and the Nifty that of 9,574 points.

"Both the indices extended gains and registered fresh all time high levels in morning trades supported by strong buying and rupee appreciation against the US dollar. Aviation sector stocks currently traded firm tracking lower crude oil prices," Dhruv Desai, Director and Chief Operating Officer of Tradebulls, told IANS.

"Share of Tata Steel traded with five per cent intra-day gains. IT, banking and auto sector stocks complemented the firmness of the equity markets."

On Thursday, the benchmark indices were elevated to new high levels by positive global cues, expected reforms to deal with the banking sector's woes, and short-covering triggered on account of May futures and options (F&O) contracts expiry.

The NSE Nifty closed at a high of 9,509.75 points and Sensex that of 30,750.03 points.

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