After a choppy ride, amid cautious and at times, lackluster trades, the Indian stock market ended marginally up today, snapping a seven-session losing streak.
Worries about the financial situation in the eurozone following the Cyprus bailout, uncertain political scenario back home and concerns about slowing growth forced investors to mostly stay on the sidelines. Movements were a bit volatile at some counters, due to ensuing expiry of near month contracts this Thursday.
The BSE benchmark Sensex, which declined to 18,612.37 in early trades, rose to 18,758.88 later on in the session, and finally ended at 18,704.53, with a gain of 23.11 points or 0.12%. The Nifty index of the National Stock Exchange settled at 5641.60, off the day's low of 5612.05, recording a gain of 7.75 points or 0.14%.
Oil, realty and capital goods stocks declined sharply and ended with notable losses. Power stocks too mostly closed on a weak note. Metal and PSU stocks found some support at lower levels.
Bank, healthcare, automobile and information technology stocks turned in a mixed performance. FMCG and consumer durables stocks moved higher. Midcap and smallcap stocks were mostly subdued.
Bharti Airtel rallied nearly 3%. HDFC and Hindustan Unilever ended higher by around 2.2%. Tata Motors, ITC, Coal India, Wipro, ICICI Bank, Tata Consultancy Services, Jindal Steel & Power and HDFC Bank gained 0.6% - 1.8%.
Ranbaxy Laboratories, Bank of Baroda, Kotak Bank, Power Grid Corporation, HCL Technologies, Jaiprakash Associates and BPCL closed on a firm note.
Reliance Infrastructure and Siemens ended lower by over 5.5%. Reliance Industries lost around 3.3%. Hero Motocorp, GAIL India, Tata Steel, Ambuja Cements, DLF and Larsen & Toubro declined by 2% - 3%.
BHEL, Punjab National Bank, Axis Bank, ONGC, Ultratech Cement, Tata Power, Lupin, Grasim Industries and State Bank of India also closed notably lower.
IRB Infrastructure, Balmer Lawrie, Pantaloon Retail saw some buying on stock specific news.
The market breadth was slightly weak. Out of 2885 stocks traded on BSE, 1459 stocks declined. 1290 stocks moved up and 136 stocks ended flat.