With several stocks facing stiff resistance at higher levels, the market, which had opened on a buoyant note this morning, has pared a substantial portion of its early gains now.
The mood remains cautious amid lingering concerns about a likely drop in pace of economic growth in the current quarter, and possibly in the next one as well, following recent demonetisation move by the government.
The Sensex, which spurted to 26,039.70 in early trades this morning, gaining about 375 points in the process, is now up just 28.75 points or 0.11%. The Nifty50 of the National Stock Exchange is up 20.20 points or 0.26% at 7949.30, a long way down from the day's high of 8018.45.
Among the gainers in the Sensex, Bajaj Auto is up 2.6%, Hindustan Unilever is up 2.2%, Maruti Suzuki is up 2.1%, Hero Motocorp is trading 1.7% up, Cipla is higher by 1.5% and Reliance Industries is up 1.3%.
ONGC rose sharply after crude oil prices gained after comments by Russian President Vladimir Putin raised expectations that the major oil producing countries could reach a deal to limit output at a meeting next week. However, the stock pared most of its gains subsequently and is currently up marginally from its previous closing price.
Coal India is modestly higher after the company said that it is examining opportunities to export coal with high ash content or high grade fossil fuel to the neighbouring nations as the demand for such type of coal is comparatively less in the domestic market.
Nifty stocks Hindalco (4.1%), Zee Entertainment Enterprises (2.8%), UltraTech Cement (2.1%) and Grasim Industries (1.5%) are up sharply.
BHEL is down 3.3%. NTPC, Power Grid Corporation, State Bank of India, Larsen & Toubro, GAIL India and Axis Bank are lower by 1% - 2%. Bosch, Dr Reddy's Laboratories and Idea Cellular are declining 0.7% - 1%.
Asian Oilfield Services is up 2.3%. The stock had jumped more than 7% earlier after the company said that it has received two contracts from Oil India worth approximately Rs 140 crore.