The market suffered a setback of sorts after opening on a firm note, but edged higher subsequently to sign off with modest gains on Monday. While positive cues from global markets aided sentiment early on, worries about slowing economic growth and concerns on the political front prompted investors to tread cautiously.
Information technology stocks had a good outing. Consumer durables, metal, healthcare, capital goods and FMCG stocks were among the other notable gainers.
Realty and power stocks saw some buying, but ended on a mixed note. Oil, automobile, bank and PSU stocks were mostly subdued. Even as large cap stocks struggled to progress, midcap and smallcap stocks moved up smartly.
The BSE benchmark Sensex, which declined to 18,508.79 after advancing to 18,590.33 early on in the session, ended the day with a gain of 30.44 points or 0.16% at 18,537.01.
The Nifty index of the National Stock Exchange closed with a gain of 9.30 points or 0.17% at 5635.90. The index touched a high of 5649.20 and a low of 5623.45 during the day.
IT stock Wipro, up 2.5%, was the top gainer in the Sensex. Infosys moved up by 1.8%, while Tata Consultancy Services ended with a modest gain of 0.3%.
Among the metal stocks in the Sensex, Sterlite Industries gained 2.3%. Tata Steel surged nearly 2%, Hindalco gained 1.6% and Coal India posted a gain of 0.6%. However, Jindal Steel & Power closed in negative territory, netting a loss of 0.6%.
Bharti Airtel, Dr Reddy's Laboratories, Hindustan Unilever, Larsen & Toubro and Tata Power climbed up 1% - 1.8%. Tata Motors ended nearly a percent up, while Hero Motocorp ended higher by about 0.3%.
IDFC ended 2.4% up. Sesa Goa, Siemens, Lupin, Punjab National Bank, Grasim Industries and HCL Technologies also closed on a firm note.
Mahindra & Mahindra declined 3.3% on reports the company will buy 50% stake in the British luxury car maker Aston Marin. BPCL, Sun Pharmaceutical Industries, BHEL, HDFC Bank, GAIL India, ICICI Bank, Ambuja Cements, Ultratech Cement, Bank of Baroda, DLF, Cairn India and ONGC also closed weak.
Glaxo Smithkline Consumer Healthcare rose sharply and hit the 20% upper circuit, following reports the company's parent GlaxoSmithKline Plc is planning to raise its stake in the Indian entity to 75% from the current 43.16%, through an open offer.
Jet Airways ended stronger by nearly 11% amid reports that the company will sell a 24% stake to Abu Dhabi-based Eihad Airways for around US$400 million.
SpiceJet flew higher as well, gaining nearly 13%, on reports that the company is in talks with AirAsia Bhd, the Malaysian firm, to sell a minority stake.
GTL Infratech, Gujarat NRE Coke and Lanco Infratech also attracted buyers on stock specific news.
Astrazenca Pharma, Strides Arcolab, Reliance Communications, Eicher Motors, Pantaloon Retail, Gujarat Fluorochemicals, Hexaware Technologies, Dish TV India, Hindustan Zinc, Lanco Infratech, TTK Prestige and Gitanjali Gems were among the other impressive gainers today.
The market breadth was slightly positive. Out of 2948 stocks traded on BSE, 1577 stocks moved up. 1223 stocks declined and 148 stocks ended flat.