Thanks to some brisk buying in several blue chip stocks in the final hour, the Indian stock market, which had been moving in and out of positive territory till then, ended the session with modest gains on Thursday.
Though worries about U.S. government shutdown waned a bit, investors remained wary of building up positions amid concerns about near term economic outlook. Caution ahead of IT bellwether Infosys' results too rendered price movements sluggish.
The BSE benchmark Sensex, which spurted to 20,323.77 in late afternoon trade after declining to around 20,136 earlier in the day, closed the session with a gain of 23.65 points or 0.12% at 20,272.91.
The Nifty index of the National Stock Exchange closed at 6020.95, recording a gain of 13.50 points or 0.22%. The index touched a low of 5979.80 and a high of 6033.95 in the session.
Automobile stocks moved higher on hopes of a surge in demand in the festival season. Metal, information technology and healthcare stocks ended on a mixed note. A few stocks from the power space too edged higher.
Capital goods, consumer durables and oil stocks mostly ended flat. Bank stocks opened on a weak note, but recovered well and eventually closed well off their lows.
Tata Motors ended 5% up, with report from its UK subsidiary Jaguar and Land Rover showing record sales in September wooing investors to the counter. Mahindra & Mahindra moved up by about 1.8% and Maruti Suzuki gained 1.7%, even as Hero Motocorp and Bajaj Auto ended on the negative side.
NTPC, Tata Steel, Sesa Sterlite, State Bank of India, Jindal Steel & Power,Wipro and HDFC gained 0.6% - 1.8%. Infosys ended higher by a little over half a percent, with investors indulging in some buying at the counter ahead of results.
Ranbaxy Laboratories, NMDC, Lupin, Grasim Industries and Asian Paints gained 2% - 3.5%. ACC, IndusInd Bank, DLF, Bank of Baroda, IDFC, BPCL, HCL Technologies and Jaiprakash Associates too closed on a firm note.
Tata Power, Hindalco, Kotak Bank, Hindustan Unilever, Axis Bank, Coal India, HDFC Bank, GAIL India, Sun Pharmaceutical Industries and Punjab National Bank ended lower by 0.5% - 3%.
Glenmark Pharmaceuticals moved up sharply following an announcement from the company that its subsidiary has filed a lawsuit in a US court seeking 180 days of exclusivity for its generic skin infections cream.
The market breadth was positive. Out of 2590 stocks traded on BSE, 1420 stocks moved up. 1018 stocks declined and 152 stocks ended flat.