Recording gains on two of the three sessions amid several volatile spells, the Indian stock market ended the truncated week (March 25 - 29, 2013) moderately higher.
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.
While the 30-share BSE sensitive index Sensex gained a little over 100 points or 0.5% to close at 18,836, the broader 50-stock Nifty index closed higher by 31.20 points or 0.55% at 5682.55. With several midcap and smallcap stocks also rebounding after recent losses, the BSE Midcap and Smallcap indices gained more than 1% and 0.5%, respectively.
Foreign institutional investors (FIIs) have bought shares worth Rs 8557.60 crore in this month so far (till 25 March 2013). FIIs had purchased shares worth Rs 24439.30 crore in February 2013. FIIs have purchased shares worth net Rs 55055.70 crore in 2013 so far (till 25 March 2013). FIIs bought shares worth net Rs 128359.80 crore in calendar 2012.
It was a weak start for the market last week, with stocks drifting lower on Monday, amid political worries following reports that the Samajwadi Party might withdraw support to the ruling UPA government. While the Sensex ended the session lower by around 54 points, the Nifty closed 17.50 points down.
Amid selective buying, the market managed to snap a seven-session losing streak on Tuesday. Gains, however, were just modest as investors mostly refrained from building up positions, due to a lack of prominent triggers. The Sensex eked out a gain of 23 points and the Nifty edged up by nearly 8 points.
Hectic buying in the final hour, due largely to short-covering ahead of May series F&O contracts expiry, lifted the market to a positive close on Thursday. The market opened lower on weak global cues and stayed in the red till an hour past noon, but gained in strength as the session progressed. The Sensex notched up a gain of 131 points and the Nifty ended higher by 41 points.
Reliance Industries declined by over 4.5%. Jindal Steel & Power, BHEL, Larsen & Toubro and Tata Steel also ended notably lower.
Automobile stocks ended weak, with investors mostly treading cautiously, choosing to wait for the release of March sales figures. Mahindra & Mahindra, Maruti Suzuki and Bajaj Auto ended lower by 1.5% - 1.8% down. Hero Motocorp lost nearly 7%.
Coal India jumped nearly 4% with the company's announcement about the board's decision to approve conversion of loan and current account balance granted to its wholly owned subsidiary BCCL, into non-convertible, redeemable cumulative prefrence shares, triggering some sustained buying at the counter.
ONGC (5.3%), HDFC (2.7%) and Hindalco (2%) and ITC (1.3%) also moved up.
IT majors Tata Consultancy Services (2%) and Infosys (1%) moved up on renewed buying in the sector. Wipro ended with a modest gain.