After a modestly positive start, the Indian stock market retreated to lower levels, swung between gains and losses amid somewhat lackluster trades, and finally ended the day with marginal gains on Wednesday, amid a lack of fresh triggers and a subdued trend in Asian and European markets.
Quarterly results gave some direction. Realty stocks, which suffered a setback in the previous session, bounced back into the reckoning amid hopes of lower interest on home loans. Consumer durables stocks too had a fairly good outing. Select oil, bank, healthcare and metal stocks found some support.
FMCG, information technology and PSU stocks mostly ended flat. Automobile, power and capital goods stocks attracted sellers.
The BSE benchmark Sensex, which advanced to 20,073.46 at the start, declined to 19,964.64 around mid afternoon and eventually ended the day with a marginal gain of 14.10 points or 0.07% at 20,005. The Nifty index of the National Stock Exchange closed at 6055.75, recording a gain of 5.85 points or 0.1%. The Nifty touched a high of 6071.95 and a low of 6044.15 during the session.
Cipla, which ended stronger by 2.7%, was the top gainer in the Sensex. Hindustan Unilever and Reliance Industries gained nearly 2%. Tata Steel, Wipro, ONGC and Sterlite Industries moved up by 1.4% - 1.8%. ICICI Bank gained 1.2%, while Coal India, Maruti Suzuki and HDFC Bank ended higher by 0.5% - 1%.
DLF, up 3%, was the top gainer among Nifty stocks. ACC, Sesa Goa, Ambuja Cements, Axis Bank, Grasim Industries, Ultratech Cement and Asian Paints gained 1% - 2.4%. Jaiprakash Associates, Siemens, Lupin and Kotak Bank also closed on a firm note.
GAIL India ended lower by 3.3%. Punjab National Bank lost around 3%. Tata Power, Larsen & Toubro, Jindal Steel & Power, IDFC, Tata Motors, Bharti Airtel, Bank of Baroda, State Bank of India and NTPC also ended notably lower.
Nalco shot up by over 8%. Pidilite Industries ended 5.8% on strong results. Indiabulls Financial Services, Bayer Crop, IRB Infrastructure, Bosch, NHPC, Muthoot Finance, Unitech, Strides Arcolab, McLeod Russel and Titan Industries also ended with strong gains.
HDIL, Gujarat Fluorochemicals, Mahindra & Mahindra Financial Services, Union Bank of India, IFCI, Tata Global Beverage, JP Power, CESC, Torrent Power and Adani Ports were some of the major losers.
The market breadth was weak. Out of 3016 stocks traded on BSE, 1219 stocks declined. 969 stocks moved up and 828 stocks closed flat.