Amid expectations the government will spell out some positive measures to boost the infrastructure sector, investors indulged in some spirited buying in infrastructure, construction and realty stocks today. With select stocks from capital goods, metal and banking sectors too edging higher on bargain hunting, the market ended the day with modest gains.
Global cues were mixed. While most of the markets in the Asian region ended on a positive note, European markets exhibited a mixed trend. Stocks, with the exception of a select few, moved in a tight band for most part of the session.
The BSE benchmark Sensex ended with a gain of 32.93 points or 0.17% at 19,501.08, more than 50 points off the day's high of 19,554.48, while the broader 50-stock Nifty index of the National Stock Exchange closed at 5898.20, off the day's high of 5911, recording a gain of 10.80 points or 0.18%.
Tata Steel, the top gainer in the Sensex, moved up by around 2.5%. Hindustan Unilever, Sterlite Industries, Larsen & Toubro, HDFC, BHEL, Hero Motocorp, State Bank of India and Hindalco gained 1.2% - 2%.
Realty stock DLF, up nearly 5%, was the biggest gainer in the Nifty index. Jaiprakash Associates moved up by 3.7%. Power Grid Corporation, Reliance Infrastructure, Cairn India, Sesa Goa and IDFC also rose sharply.
Wipro, NTPC, GAIL India, Hindalco, Lupin, Maruti Suzuki and Punjab National Bank also closed on a positive note.
Jindal Steel & Power, Coal India, Tata Consultancy Services, Ultratech Cement, ONGC, Bajaj Auto, Bharti Airtel, Dr Reddy's Laboratories, Axis Bank and Asian Paints closed lower by 1% - 2.2%.
MMTC shot up by nearly 9%. JP Infratech, Mahindra & Mahindra Financial Services, Canara Bank, GMR Infrastructure, Tata Communications, Hindustan Copper, Hexware Technologies, Adani Enterprises, Berger Paints, JP Power, IRB Infrastructure, Suzlon Energy, Godrej Consumer Products and HDIL also ended with sharp gains.
Jet Air India ended 7.7% down following reports that Etihad Airways has defered its plan to buy a stake in the Indian airliner. Havells India, Aurobindo Pharma, Financial Technologies and Madras Cements lost 1.5% - 2%.
With several midcap and smallcap stocks surging higher on bargain hunting after recent losses, the market breadth was positive today.