After opening on a firm note this morning following the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs approving a major bailout package for the ailing power distribution states, the market retreated and slipped into negative territory around mid morning with investors choosing to book some profits.
Thereafter, swinging between gains and losses, the market moved in a very tight range till around noon, and despite staging a smart rally in afternoon trade, ended the session just marginally up with investors mostly treading a cautious path amid lingering worries about the near term economic outlook.
The BSE benchmark Sensex, which rose to 18,790.01 in early trades, ended the day with a gain of 21.07 points or 0.11% at 18,694.41, nearly 60 points off the day's low of 18,636.16.
The broader 50-stock Nifty index of the National Stock Exchange closed at 5673.90, recording a gain of 4.30 points or 0.08%. The Nifty, which surged to 5702.70 in early trades, touched a low of 5652.45 during the day.
Power stocks started off on a high note, but gave up most of their gains as the day progressed, with a few of them even drifting down into the negative zone. Following the government approving a major bailout package for power generation and distribution companies, shares from power sector rose sharply in early trades, extending the previous session's rally. However, proft taking crept in subsequently and wiped off early gains.
Realty and FMCG stocks had a good outing. Select consumer durables, healthcare and capital goods stocks posted notable gains.
Bank, oil and PSU stocks ended mixed. Automobile and metal stocks drifted lower on selling pressure. Midcap and smallcap stocks had a fairly good day.
BHEL extended recent strong gains and closed higher by about 2.7%. Cipla ended nearly 2% up and ITC gained 1.9%. Hindustan Unilever (1.75%), HDFC (1.3%) and Mahindra & Mahindra (1%) also closed on a high note. HDFC Bank, Tata Consultancy Services and Reliance Industries posted modest gains.
Kotak Bank, up 3.2%, was the top gainer in the Nifty index. Ranbaxy Laboratories, Grasim Industries, BPCL, IDFC, HCL Technologies and Bank of Baroda also moved up smartly. ACC, Ambuja Cements and DLF ended modestly higher.
Jindal Steel & Power lost 4.3% following reports the company has raised a bridge loan of Rs 660 crore to fund its CIC Energy acquisition. The company reportedly raised Rs 550 crore from Deutsche Bank and Rs 110 crore from First Rand Bank of South Africa for one year term.
Maruti Suzuki, Sterlite Industries, Tata Motors, Tata Steel, ONGC, Hero Motocorp and Bajaj Auto lost 1% - 2.4%. Dr Reddy's Laboratories, NTPC, Wipro and Bharti Airtel also ended notably lower.
Cairn India drifted down by around 3%. According to reports, Cairn Energy has raised about US$922 million by selling an 8% stake in Cairn India. Cairn Energy sold nearly 153 million shares of its former Indian unit at 323.10 rupees a share, according to reports.
Last year, Cairn Energy sold a controlling stake in Cairn India to Vedanta Resources in an US$8.7 billion deal. In June, Cairn Energy sold 3.5% percent of Cairn India to raise about US$360 million.
Jaiprakash Associates, Axis Bank, Sesa Goa, Siemens, SAIL and Asian Paints also closed weak.
The market breadth was slightly positive. Out of 3010 stocks traded on BSE, 1552 stocks moved up. 1325 stocks declined and 133 stocks ended flat.