With investors taking some profits following Wednesday's strong rally, and spending most of the session out on the sidelines for want of triggers, movements were quite choppy on the Indian bourses on Thursday.
The key indices Sensex and Nifty ended the day in green, but were mostly seen struggling to hold at higher levels, as traders chose to take profits at every small rise in values.
The market had ended on a high note on Wednesday, with the key indices hitting their best levels in over 28 months, amid rising expectations of more monetary easing by the central bank following a notable decline in wholesale price inflation. Though the mood was positive today, buying interest was subdued, as some weak results from India Inc and a mixed trend in Asian and European markets prompted investors to tread somewhat cautiously.
The Sensex, which rose to 20,326.48, ended the day with a modest gain of 34.37 points or 0.17% at 20,247.33. The Nifty closed at 6169.90, gaining 23.15 points or 0.38%.
Realty stocks had another good session. Oil, healthcare, bank and capital goods stocks were among the other prominent gainers. Metal stocks too saw some bright spells. Select power and PSU stocks edged higher.
Consumer durables, automobile, information technology and FMCG stocks ended on a weak note. While select midcap stocks posted strong gains, smallcap stocks were mostly subdued.
Cipla ended 2.7% up on the back of an announcement from the company that the shareholders of Cipla Medpro South Africa have approved the takeover offer of company. Earlier this year, Cipla had made a cash offer to acquire 100% shareholding of Cipla Medpro, and its shareholders have now approved the takeover offer from Cipla at 10 Rand per share. The move would help Cipla to integrate its marketing or front-end arm in South Africa with its manufacturing, regulatory and research units, they had added.
Hindalco gained 2.7%. Reliance Industries moved up by 2.6%. Dr Reddy's Laboratories (2.5%), Sterlite Industries (2.1%), State Bank of India (1.3%), BHEL (1.2%), ICICI Bank (1.15%) and HDFC Bank (1.1%0 also ended on a firm note. Tata Steel gained nearly a percent. Larsen & Toubro moved higher on winning big orders. ONGC too closed notably higher.
Jaiprakash Associates, up 5.8%, was the top gainer in the Nifty index. IDFC moved up by 3.7%. Sesa Goa, Lupin, Ranbaxy Laboratories, Grasim Industries, IndusInd Bank, BPCL, Kotak Bank, Reliance Infrastructure, ACC, Ultratech Cement and Axis Bank gained 1.3% - 3%.
Bajaj Auto ended 1.4% down after the company said its net profit declined 1% to Rs 766 crore on 4% surge in turnover to Rs 4990 crore in the January - March 2013 quarter, as compared to the prior corresponding quarter last year.
NMDC ended nearly 3% down. Tata Motors, Jindal Steel, ITC, Hero Motocorp, Infosys and Tata Consultancy Services lost 1% - 1.8%.
Realty stocks Anant Raj Industries and Indiabulls Real Estate gained nearly 5.5%. HDIL, Oberoi Realty and Prestige Estates ended higher by 3.5% - 4%, while Godrej Properties and Unitech gained 1.2% and 1.9%, respectively. DLF ended 0.5% up.
Bajaj Finserv, Bajaj Finance, TTK Prestige and DB Corp moved up sharply on impressive quarterly numbers. Orchid Chemicals, V-Guard Industries and United Spirits declined on disappointing results.
The market breadth was slightly negative. Out of 2080 stocks traded on BSE, 1032 stocks declined. 952 stocks recorded gains and 96 stocks ended flat.