Some PSU stocks rallied smartly on the Indian bourses, even as trading was somewhat lackluster today with institutional investors largely staying away from the ring. The short session, convened by the bourses to enable BSE to test its new disaster recovery software, ended with the benchmark indices Sensex and Nifty closing with modest gains.
After opening flat and trading sideways for about an hour, the market moved up a bit towards the end of the session, with stocks from healthcare, metal and FMCG sections too finding some support.
A few stocks from consumer durables sector edged higher. Oil, bank, realty, capital goods and automobile stocks mostly ended flat. Power and information technology stocks were a bit subdued. Midcap and smallcap stocks outperformed the big ones.
The BSE benchmark Sensex, which rose to 20,146.83, ended the session with a gain of 39.70 points or 0.2% at 20,122.32. The Nifty index of the National Stock Exchange closed at 6107.25, recording a gain of 12.50 points or 0.21%.
Dr Reddy's Laboratories ended nearly 3.5% up. Sun Pharmaceutical Industries gained a little over 2% and Cipla moved up by 1.4%. Lupin and Ranbaxy Laboratories also closed on a firm note.
Metal stocks Sterlite Industries (1.3%), Coal India (1.3%), Sesa Goa (1%), Hindalco (0.3%) and Tata Steel (0.2%) saw some buying.
State Bank of India, ONGC, ITC, Bharti Airtel, Maruti Suzuki, Bajaj Auto and Hero Motocorp edged higher. Reliance Industries, ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank and Larsen & Toubro ended with slender gains.
Reliance Communications ended nearly a percent up, topping the chart. The Reliance Communications counter on the National Stock Exchange clocked a volume of over 4 million shares, valued at around Rs 45.20 crore.
PSU stocks MMTC, State Trading Corporation, Hindustan Copper, Neyveli Lignite Corporation, HMT and Nalco rallied sharply, gaining 2% - 9%, on fairly impressive volumes.
Infosys, Tata Consultancy Services, Wipro, HCL Technologies, BHEL, NTPC, Jindal Steel & Power, ACC and Mahindra & Mahindra edged lower.