The BSE Sensex edged higher on Thursday as Mahindra & Mahindra advanced after its quarterly earnings beat analyst estimates, while ICICI Bank rose ahead of its results tomorrow.
Shares were also helped as world stocks recovered from a recent slide on encouraging data from Britain and China, as well as the US Federal Reserve's latest commitment to support growth.
The expiry of October derivatives contracts at the end of the session proved less volatile than usual, as investors focused on earnings and on hopes for a surprise cut in interest rates at the Reserve Bank of India's policy review on Thursday, according to traders.
"Earnings so far have been on the positive side and will remain important," said Dipen Shah, head of private client group research at Kotak Securities. "But RBI's policy review now becomes the key to determine the trend of the market from here onwards."
The BSE Sensex rose 0.26 per cent, or 48.61 points, to 18,758.63 points.
The 50-share Nifty rose 0.24 per cent, or 13.90 points, to 5,705.30 points.
Mahindra and Mahindra Ltd rose 3.5 per cent after India's biggest SUV manufacturer beat analysts' estimates with a 22 per cent rise in July-September net profit as its car sales outperformed the market.
Banking stocks were well bid on the back of solid earnings and improvements in the shedding of bad loans.