Key Indian stock indices Sensex and Nifty ended marginally down on Monday, with stocks mostly moving sideways amid lackluster trades. Though Asian markets ended mostly lower, European markets traded firm, limiting the downside on the Indian bourses.
With quarterly results from India Inc set to pour in soon and some key economic data due for release later this week, investors were quite reluctant to indulge in any big buying.
The Sensex, which moved in a range of a little over 100 points - it touched a high of 18,504.48 and a low of 18,402.93 during the day - ended with a loss of 12.45 points or 0.07% at 18,437.78, the Nifty closed lower by 10.30 points or 0.19% at 5542.95, slightly off the day's low. The NSE benchmark touched a high of 5569.20 during the day.
Bharti Airtel ended nearly 4% up. BHEL ended with a gain of 2.7% despite the company reporting an 8% drop in earnings, while announcing tentative results for the March quarter.
Cipla ended 2.2% up. Hindustan Unilever, Dr Reddy's Laboratories, Tata Power, GAIL India, Hindalco, Reliance Industries, Sun Pharmaceutical Industries, Maruti Suzuki, Tata Motors, Bajaj Auto, HDFC Bank and ITC also closed on a firm note.
ADAG stocks Reliance Infrastructure, Reliance Capital and Reliance Communications
closed sharply higher on strong volumes.
Ambuja Cements, Ultratech Cement, BPCL, Jaiprakash Associates, Grasim Industries and DLF closed on a firm note.
Asian Paints, Ranbaxy Laboratories, Punjab National Bank, Axis Bank, Sesa Goa, Larsen & Toubro, Bank of Baroda, HDFC, IndusInd Bank, KotakBank, Tata Consultancy Services, Infosys, HCL Technologies, Jindal Steel & Power, State Bank of India and Tata Steel ended with sharp to moderate losses.