A recovery in Asian markets and slightly positive start on the European bourses prompted some buying in select blue chip stocks in the Indian stock market and drove the indices Sensex and Nifty up a bit this afternoon.
However, the market, after a cautious start, was quite subdued almost right through the session, as investors appeared somewhat reluctant to indulge in any big buying in the midst of the debate on the government's decision to allow FDI in multi-brand retail.
Swinging between gains and losses, the BSE benchmark Sensex ended the session at 19,348.12, up 42.80 points or 0.22% from its previous closing mark. The barometer touched a low of 19,263.71 and a high of 19,973.94 during the session.
The Nifty index of the National Stock Exchange settled at 5889.25, around 30 points off the day's low of 5859, recording a gain of 18.30 points or 0.31%.
Oil stocks, led by Reliance Industries, turned in a fine performance. Realty, power and bank stocks saw some spirited buying past mid afternoon. Select healthcare and PSU stocks moved up. Capital goods and FMCG stocks mostly ended flat, while metal, automobile, information technology and consumer durables stocks failed to find support.
Tata Power ended 4% up, topping the list of Sensex gainers. Reliance Industries moved up by about 2.5%. Bajaj Auto, State Bank of India and ICICI Bank gained over 1.5%. ONGC ended nearly a percent up, while GAIL India, Jindal Steel & Power adn HDFC gained 0.6% - 0.9%.
Jaiprakash Associates gained over 4.5%. According to reports, Jaipraksh Associates and Jaiprakash Power Ventures have received final forest clearance for coal block in Madhya Pradesh. “The Government of India, Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF) has accorded the second stage (final) forest clearance in respect of the Amelia (North) coal block in Sidhi district of Madhya Pradesh for diversion of 728.750 hectares of forest land for coal mining,” Jaiprakash Associates said in a statement.
Ranbaxy Laboratories, Reliance Infrastructure, Bank of Baroda, IDFC, Lupin, DLF, BPCL and Power Grid Corporation gained 1% - 2.3%. Punjab National Bank and Siemens also closed on a firm note.
Mahindra & Mahindra, Ambuja Cements, Grasim Industries, Ultratech Cement, Sesa Goa, Wipro, NTPC, Sterlite Industries and Tata Consultancy Services closed lower by 1.2% - 1.8%. Coal India, Maruti Suzuki, Hindalco, Hindustan Unilever, Hero Motocorp (the stock eased on a rating downgrade by Bank of America), Bharti Airtel, Cipla, ACC and Larsen & Toubro also closed weak.
United Breweries shot up by nearly 18% on huge volumes. On the National Stock Exchange, nearly 4.2 million shares were traded at the United Breweries counter on Tuesday.
Jet Airways (down 4.4%) and Karnataka Bank (down 6.3%) plunged sharply on huge volumes. While the Jet Airways counter on NSE clocked a volume of over 11 million shares, the Karnataka Bank counter saw a volume of more than 21 million shares.
State Bank of India, ICICI Bank, Jaiprakash Associates, Reliance Industries and IDFC were among the other turnover toppers today.
The market breadth was positive. Out of 3061 stocks traded on BSE, 1607 stocks moved up. 1327 stocks declined and 127 stocks ended flat.