The market, which came off higher levels after a bright start, very nearly slipped into negative territory a little while ago, as a few heavyweight stocks retreated on selling pressure.
However, thanks to support at higher levels, the market has edged up a bit subsequently and is currently trading with modest gains.
The Sensex, which declined to 19,645.90 from a high of 19,742.42, is now at 19,668.94, up 33.22 points or 0.17% from its previous close. The Nifty index of the National Stock Exchange is up 13.45 points or 0.23% at 5953.15, nearly 20 points off the day's high of 5971.
Reliance Industries is trading stronger by 2.3% at Rs 868 thanks to sustained buying at the counter, on the back of reports that the company and its two partners- BP and Niko Resources plan to invest over $5 billion over the next three to five years in the KG-D6 block to develop around 4 trillion cubic feet of discovered natural gas reserves.
Wipro is up nearly a percent. Hero Motocorp, Coal India, HDFC Bank, Sun Pharmaceutical Industries, Tata Consultancy Services, Jindal Steel & Power and Bajaj Auto are up with modest gains.
Cipla is down 1.2%. Sterlite Industries, Maruti Suzuki, Tata Motors, Hindustan Unilever, Hindalco, NTPC, Bharti Airtel and ICICI Bank are trading lower by 0.5% - 1%.
BPCL, DLF, Ambuja Cements and Ranbaxy Laboratories are trading higher by 0.6% - 2.2%.
HCL Technologies is up by about 1.5%. The IT major may see a drop in earnings following its client Reader's Digest entering bankruptcy proceedings in the U.S. The top magazine is reportedly reeling under a debt in excess of $1 billion (Rs5,400 crore). A few years ago, HCL Technologies signed a Rs 1900 crore, multi-year contract with Reader's Digest Association.
Lanco Infratech is trading notably higher following the company reaching out to its Malaysian partner, Genting, to buy stake in three of its power plants. According to reports, Lanco is looking for a stake buyer for the Amarkantak, Baband and Anpara plants. Genting has a 35% stake in Lanco’s gas-fired Kondapalli power plant.
Binani Industries zoomed nearly 12% in early trades today on reports of a stake sale plan. According to reports the company is in talks with JP Morgan and middle-east state funds to sell 40% of its stake in its subsidiary Binani cement. The stake is reportedly set to be valued at Rs 3200 crore.
Thomas Cook (India) Limited has announced that its consolidated net profit rose almost 70% to Rs 85.1 million for the quarter ended December 2012, from Rs 50.5 million in the corresponding quarter last year. The stock is up nearly a percent at Rs 54.80 at present.