The Indian stock market ended modestly higher on Tuesday, after swinging between gains and losses amid a lack of prominent triggers. The mood was generally cautious at the ring with investors choosing to wait for some clear signals to emerge.
With the U.S. Federal Reserve's two-day meeting beginning on Tuesday and the Reserve Bank of India's mid-quarter monetary policy review due later in the week, investors appeared quite reluctant to indulge in any big buying.
The rupee's retreat against the U.S. dollar triggered some buying in the IT space. The rupee, which dropped down to around 63.65 against the greenback earlier in the day, recovered to 62.95 later on.
The BSE benchmark Sensex, which declined to a low of 19,635.44 in early trades, rose to 19,819.10 in the final hour and eventually ended at 19,804.03, up 61.56 points or 0.31% from its previous close.
The broader 50-stock Nifty index of the National Stock Exchange closed at 5850.20, gaining 9.65 points or 0.17%. It touched a low of 5804.90 and a high of 5857.80 during the day.
Apart from IT majors, shares from metal, FMCG and automobile sectors moved higher. Capital goods, pharmaceuticals, consumer durables and oil stocks turned in a mixed performance. Power, bank and realty stocks traded weak.
Wipro ended stronger by nearly 5.5%. Tata Consultancy Services moved up by 2.4% and Infosys gained about 1.1%. HCL Technologies (4.2%), Tech Mahindra (2.6%) and MindTree (1.7%) also closed on a firm note.
Automobile stocks Tata Motors, Maruti Suzuki, Bajaj Auto and Mahindra & Mahindra gained 1% - 1.4%. Hero Motocorp, however, closed weak.
Dr Reddy's Laboratories gained 3.7% following an announcement from the company that its has received an approval from the US drug regulator for Azacitidine for injection.
ITC gained 1.2% following an announcement from its hospitality arm ITC Hotels Limited that it has tied up with RP Group Hotels & Resorts to manage 5 hotels in India and Dubai, under ITC Hotels' 5-star 'WelcomHotel' brand and the group's mid-market to upscale 'Fortune' brand.
Jindal Steel & Power, Sesa Goa, Coal India, GAIL India, Hindustan Unilever, Hindalco, Bharti Airtel and BHEL ended higher by 0.5% - 2%.
Ranbaxy Laboratories ended 3.3% up on bargain hunting after Monday's sharp setback. Ultra Tech Cement, ACC, Grasim Industries, Cairn India, Ambuja Cements and Lupin also closed on a positive note.
Sun Pharmaceutical Industries, ONGC, NTPC, IDFC, BPCL, HDFC and Tata Steel closed notably lower. Bank stocks Bank of Baroda, Axis Bank, IndusInd Bank, Punjab National Bank, State Bank of India and ICICI Bank also ended weak.
The market breadth was slightly negative. Out of 2485 stocks traded on BSE, 1238 stocks declined. 1118 stocks moved up and 129 stocks ended flat.