After a bright start and a subsequent retreat from higher levels, the Indian stock market has been moving in a tight band for nearly a couple of hours now with investors treading somewhat cautiously despite a firm trend in global markets.
The Sensex, which surged to 18,467.91 in early trades today, is currently up 36.11 poitns or 0.2% at 18,375.11. The Nifty index of the National Stock Exchange is up 17 points or 0.3% at 5588.40, nearly 25 points off the day's high of 5613.70.
FMCG, power, automobile and metal stocks are finding some support, while stocks from information technology, oil, healthcare, capital goods and banking sectors are mosty subdued. Realty stocks opened on a firm note, but are mostly trading off their highs now.
HDFC, up 2.8%, remains the top gainer in the Sensex. Mahindra & Mahindra has gained around 1.7%. GAIL India, HDFC Bank, Tata Power, Hindustan Unilever, Dr Reddy's Laboratories, Tata Motors, Wipro, ITC and Coal India are up 0.5% - 1.5%.
Tata Steel is up nearly a percent at Rs 368.50. The company will reportedly continue to pursue a cost-cutting target of Rs12 billion set for 2012-13.
Power Grid Corporation, IDFC, Kotak Bank, Lupin, Axis Bank and Ranbaxy Laboratories are among the notable gainers in the Nifty index.
Infosys is trading lower by 1.6% at Rs 2319. HCL Technologies is down with a loss of 1.2% at Rs 608. Sun Pharmaceutical Industries, Hero Motocorp, Cairn India, Jaiprakash Associates, Punjab National Bank, Ultratech Cement and Bajaj Auto are also trading weak.
Eicher Motors is trading firm on reports that Volvo, the Swedish truck, bus and earth-moving equipment maker is planning to invest around Rs 1,800 crore in joint venture company, VE Commercial Vehicles.
In the currency market, the rupee rose to 54.83 against the U.S. dollar in early trades, gaining 23 paise, at the Interbank Foreign Exchange on dollar selling by exporters and banks amid sustained foreign capital inflows. On Monday, the partially convertible Indian rupee had cloed at 55.06 against the greenback.