After a positive start on strong global cues, the market suffered a setback of sorts around noon, but recovered swiftly and ended with solid gains on Thursday despite remaining a bit lackluster at times. Activity was mostly stock specific amid a lack of fresh triggers from the domestic front.
The Lok Sabha speaker's decision to disallow a no-confidence motion against the government helped ease worries on the political front and aided sentiment on the bourses. Some impressive economic data from China and a positive trend in European markets too contributed to the upmove. However, buying interest was highly subdued.
The BSE benchmark Sensex, which declined to 18,456.20 after a positive start, recovered to end the day with a gain of 56.96 points or 0.31% at 18,517.34. The Nifty index of the National Stock Exchange settled at 5627.75, nearly 20 points off the day's low of 5608, recording a gain of 12.95 points or 0.23%. The Nifty touched a high of 5643.35 in the final hour.
Capital goods, information technology, FMG and bank stocks edged higher. Select stocks from healthcare and metal sectors too moved higher. Realty and automobile stocks started off on a bright note, but retreated as the session progressed. Power, consumer durables and oil stocks were mostly subdued.
Capital goods stocks Larsen & Toubro (1.8%), Bharat Electronics (1.4%), Jindal Saw (1%), Thermax (up nearly 2%), AIA Engineering (2.6%) and Lakshmi Machine Works (1.5%) closed with strong gains. Alstom T&D gained 0.8% and Bharat Earth Movers moved up by about 0.7%, while BHEL ended modestly lower.
Among the stocks in the IT space, Infosys gained 1.6%, Wipro moved up by 1.1% and HCL Technologies gained 1.9%. Tech Mahindra and Hexware also closed notably higher, while Tata Consultancy Services and Financial Technologies ended weak.
FMCG stocks ITC and United Spirits and pharmaceuticals stocks Cadila Healthcare, Glenmark Pharmaceuticals, Apollo Hospitals Enterprises, IPCA Laboratories, Strides Arcolab and Wockhardt closed sharply higher. Aurobindo Pharma, Cipla, Ranbaxy Laboratories and Dr Reddy's Laboratories closed weak.
Among bank stocks, State Bank of India, Axis Bank, HDFC Bank and Bank of India closed on a firm note. Union Bank of India, Bank of India and IndusInd Bank also closed notably higher, while ICICI Bank, Federal Bank and Yes Bank drifted lower.
Mahindra & Mahindra, Sterlite Industreis, NTPC, Hindalco, Tata Power and Tata Steel closed on a firm note. Tata Motors, Reliance Industries, ONGC, Hero Motocorp and Bajaj Auto ended lower.
Triveni Engineering rose sharply following the company reporting an impressive 118% jump in net profit for the quarter ended September 2012. Hindustan Copper vaulted more than 11% on huge volumes, following an announcement from the government that it would sell about 9.59% stake in the company through the Offer of Sale mechanism through a separate window. The sale will take place on Friday (23 November). As on 30 Septemebr, the government held a 99.59% stake in Hindustan Copper Limited.
The market breadth was almost even at close. Out of 2943 stocks traded on BSE, 1431 stocks moved up. 1366 stocks declined and 146 stocks ended flat.