Capital goods, PSU and metal stocks have come back strongly after falling from morning highs, and lifted the market back into positive territory in mid afternoon trade. Shares from power, banking and healthcare sectors too are finding good support now.
Automobile stocks have recovered well thanks to good support at lower levels. Realty, information technology and FMCG stocks are a bit subdued.
The Sensex, which had declined to 15,839.70 a little past noon, is now at 15,985.25, up 45.89 points or 0.3% over its previous closing mark. The Nifty index of the National Stock Exchange is up 13.35 points or 0.28% at 4778.65, well off the day's low of 4733.05.
Tata Motors, which was trading firm even as other automobile majors were languishing in negative territory earlier in the day, has rallied to Rs 201, gaining nearly 3.5% in the process. Maruti Suzuki has notched up a gain of 1.6% at Rs 967.50.
BHEL rules firm with a strong gain of 2.8%. ICICI Bank is up by around 2.75%. Hindalco has notched up a gain of 2.15%, while Sterlite Industries and Tata Steel are up nearly 1.5%. Larsen & Toubro, Cipla, ONGC, HDFC Bank and Wipro are up 0.6% - 1.4%.
Bajaj Auto is down with a loss of 4.6%. Mahindra & Mahindra is trading lower by around 3.2% and Hero Motocorp is down 2.6%. Hindustan Unilever, Bharti Airtel, DLF and Coal India are trading lower by 1.7% - 2.6%. Coal India, Tata Consultancy Services, State Bank of India, Jaiprakash Associates and Tata Power are also trading notably lower.
MMTC is up with a hefty gain of 14% at Rs 706.50. Hindustan Copper is up nearly 11% at Rs 243.50. Rashtriya Chemicals & Fertilizers is up almost 10% at Rs 53. Neyveli Lignite Corporation, Engineers India, NMDC, Hindustan Zinc, REC, SAIL and MOIL are also up with strong gains.
United Spirits, Oriental Bank of Commerce, Crompton Greaves, HCL Technologies, Bata India, Fortis, IRB Infrastructure, Manappuram Finance, Marico, Cummins India, Havells India, Apollo Hospitals and Allahabad Bank are up with impressive gains.
According to a survey, the service sector business activity bounced back in December with a key gauge touching its highest level in five months. The rebound in the service sector output has been underpinned by new business and expansion in employment, according to the survey by HSBC Holdings Plc and Markit Economics .The HSBC Markit Business Activity Index rose to 54.2 in December from 53.2 in November.
The headline service PMI had contracted in September and sunk to a two-and-a-half year low of 49.1 in October. In the December survey, the new business sub-index jumped to 55.7 from 52.3 in November, the survey revealed today. Optimism about future business prospects remained strong and improved slightly in December from a near three-year low in November.