The BSE Sensex ended higher for a second session on Thursday, led by gains in auto shares on higher-than-expected October vehicle sales, while technology firm Wipro Ltd rose after saying it will separate its non-IT units to focus on outsourcing.
Reliance Industries Ltd recovered from a steep fall to end up 0.2 percent after a heavy share buy-back by the company. It fell as much as 2.1 percent after anti-corruption activist Arvind Kejriwal accused the energy conglomerate of hoarding natural gas and exerting pressure on the government to favour it.
Shares also found support from an index of manufacturing activity. HSBC's India manufacturing purchasing managers' index (PMI) nudged up in October to 52.9 from September's 10-month low of 52.8, implying the sector was showing signs of stabilisation, with a pickup in orders.
"The earnings season has been mixed till now and no clear trend has emerged," said Kaushik Dani, a fund manager at Peerless Mutual Fund. "So, for now, the market will take cues from global developments."
The BSE Sensex rose 0.3 percent or 56.32 points to end at 18,561.70 points,
The 50-share Nifty rose 0.45 percent or 25.35 points to 5,645.05.
Markets will closely await the outcome of the U.S. October ADP national employment index, due at 1215 GMT (05:45 p.m. local time) and U.S. weekly initial jobless claims, for the week ended October 27, due at 1230 GMT (6 p.m. local time).
Wipro Ltd , India's No.3 software services provider, said on Thursday it will fold all its non-IT businesses into a new company and focus exclusively on information technology.
Wipro shares ended up 3 percent, after the company's Chief Financial Officer Suresh Senapaty said profit margins are expected to improve after the demerger.
Shares in Titan Industries surged 10 percent, a day after posting better-than-expected operating profit margins for the July-September quarter, although its net profit was in line with estimates.
ICICI Securities said it expects Titan to post improved earnings in the second half of the fiscal year.
Telecom operator Bharti Airtel's shares ended up 4.26 p ercent on hopes of a price increase and lower competition due to higher spectrum prices, said traders.
Utility vehicle maker Mahindra & Mahindra gained 1.74 percent after reporting a rise in sales of 29 percent in October.
Tata Motors shares closed up 5 percent after reporting lower-than-expected 6 percent rise in vehicle sales, excluding JLR sales, in October.
Godrej Properties rose 3.8 percent, largely driven by a significantly higher EBITDA growth. The company's net profit in the September quarter surged up 67.51 percent at 325.8 million rupees, higher than what the market expected.
Among shares that fell were ITC Ltd , which dropped 1.15 percent, while Hindustan Unilever Ltd declined 1.67 percent, on concerns the government might implement standard packaging regulation for consumer products that may impact margins, dealers said.