After a bright start on some bargain hunting, and a subsequent fall into the red, the Indian stock market rebounded swifty on Friday, but struggled to hold at higher levels as investors mostly chose to stay away on the sidelines due to lack of triggers.
Though select blue chips made their way up on short covering and bargain hunting, the broad market had a choppy ride.
The BSE benchmark Sensex, which rose to 19,833.14 in early trades, plunged to 19,568.49 in the first hour, but ended the day on the positive side after some listless movements. The barometer ended the session with a gain of 30 points or 0.15% at 19,704.33.
The broader 50-stock Nifty index of the National Stock Exchange settled at 5983.55, recording a gain of 16.40 points or 0.28%. The index touched a high of 6015.30 and a low of 5936.80 during the session.
Metal, capital goods, bank, power and realty stocks saw some buying. Consumer durables stocks too had a good outing. Oil, FMCG and automobile stocks closed on a mixed note, while information technology and healthcare stocks closed weak.
Tata Steel ended 4.6% up despite a significant drop in earnings. Short-covering after the previous session's sharp setback lifted the stock. Tata Power moved up by 3.75%. Larsen & Toubro and ICICI Bank gained around 2.7%.
Sterlite Industries, Jindal Steel & Power, Maruti Suzuki, NTPC, Coal India, Mahindra & Mahindra, Dr Reddy's Laboratories, HDFC, HDFC Bank and Reliance Industries closed with sharp to moderate gains.
Lupin, Sesa Goa, Reliance Infrastructure, Punjab National Bank, Cairn India, IndusInd Bank, Kotak Bank, IDFC, ACC and Jaiprakash Associates gained 1% - 3%.
Sun Pharmaceutical Industries ended 3.6% down following its US subsidiary Taro Pharma reporting weak earnings for the January - March 2013 quarter. Hindalco, Cipla, Tata Consultancy Services, BHEL, Ranbaxy Laboratories and State Bank of India lost 1% - 1.8%.
Tata Motors, Hero Motocorp, ONGC, GAIL India, ITC, Bajaj Auto, Infosys, Bharti Airtel and Ultratech Cement also finished on a weak note.
Hindustan Copper saw some strong buying following the company reporting a near 37% jump in net profit to Rs 188.09 crore on 11.62% decline in total income to Rs 550.45 crore in the January- March 2013 quarter, over the year ago period. PTC India moved higher after the company said its net profit rose 23.3% to Rs 37.05 crore in the quarter ended March 31, 2013.
Wockhardt plunged sharply and despite recovering some lost ground in late afternoon trade, ended the day with a loss of over 4%, extending its previous session's losses. The stock tumbled following the US drug regulator imposing an import alert on medicines manufactured at the company's plant at Aurangabad in Maharashtra afer the plant failed a safety inspection.
The market breadth was marginally positive. Out of 2434 stocks traded on BSE, 1189 stocks moved up. 1098 stocks declined and 147 stocks ended flat.