It’s fast and furious. The Sensex’s breathtaking journey to mount 60,000 has been the fastest in the history of the index—with the last 10,000 points coming in a single calendar year. In this instance, the gain has come in CY21 with the index opening at a record high of 60158, with a gain of 273 points. However, it couldn’t hang on to the gains and ended at 60048, a gain of 163 points. Yet, this is a record fastest 10k run in the history of the Sensex, with the jump coming in a single calendar year in 8 months. In fact, the index has gained a record calendar-year gain of 12,263 points in CY21 with the index surging from its open of 47,785 at the start of the year.

On 25 July 1990, the Sensex for the first time touched the four-digit figure for the first time and closed at 1,001 on the back of a good monsoon and strong corporate performance. In 1991, the index opened at 1027 points (though close was 999 on January 1, 1991) and ended the year at 1909 points, a gain of 86%. Since then in each of the calendar years, the index continued its journey, scaling new peaks. Interestingly, the record percentage gains were only visible in 1991, since then the percentage gains have been only falling, barring a few years.

For instance, 1999 saw 63% gains, followed by 73% at the start of the bull run in 2003 and the next big gain only after the global financial crisis in 2009, when the index recovered 80% after crashing 52% in 2008. Since 2008, though the index scaled new peaks, the percentage gains have only been lower. After 2009, the next big gain was in 2014, when the index rose 30%, followed by the one in CY21, where the Sensex is up 26% (YTD as of September 24)

The Sensex has nearly doubled from its lows in March and has risen nearly 50 times in three decades—the benchmark was on 999 on January 1, 1991. The index crossed the 50,000-peak for the first time on January 21 this year. This was on the back of its longest weekly winning streak—11 straight weeks—in over a decade. Sensex has nearly more than doubled from its March lows of 25,638, gaining 33,410 points as of September 24 closing.

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