The BSE benchmark Sensex today closed just 9.53 points higher as smart gains in RIL,Sun Pharma and Infosys were largely neutralised by fall in HDFC Bank,L&T and SBI shares amid investors preferring to book profits ahead of monthly derivative settlement on Thursday.
The 30-share Sensex resumed higher at 19,210.26,but dropped to 19,042.08 on profit-booking. However,it recovered afterwards on fresh buying to end in the positive terrain for the third straight day at 19,179.36. This was a marginal gain
of 9.53 points or 0.05 per cent from its previous close.
Sensex has gained nearly 450 points in three sessions.
The NSE 50-share Nifty inched today up by 2.50 points or 0.04 per cent to end at 5,836.90.
Brokers said investors remained cautious ahead of a monthly settlement in the derivatives segment on Thursday and the Reserve Bank of India monetary policy meet on May 3.
Both the BSE and the NSE will remain closed tomorrow on account of “Mahavir Jayanti”.
Selling pressure was more confined to recent gainers in financial and capital goods sectors,while firm trend in pharma and IT stocks helped counter any major falling trend.
Major supporters to the market were heavyweight Reliance Industries and Infosys Technologies. RIL rose 1.74 per cent and Infosys by 0.79 per cent. Sun Pharma gained 2.16 percent.
However,HDFC Bank fell by 1.7 per cent on profit booking. The private sector bank reported a 30 per cent rise in Q4 profit. L&T,SBI and Tata Motors fell over 2 per cent each after their recent good run. Jindal Steel was,however,the biggest laggard in Sensex as it slid 3.7 per cent.
Meanwhile,market participants appeared not much enthused by Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory panel pegging the growth rate for the current fiscal at 6.4 per cent,up from 5 per cent in 2012-13.
Asian stocks ended lower after reports said preliminary data showed Chinese manufacturing expanded less than economists had estimated. Key benchmark indices in China,Hong Kong,Japan,South Korea,Singapore and Taiwan fell by 0.29 per cent to 2.57 per cent.
European stock markets were mostly trading higher after data showed the pace of region’s downturn didn’t accelerate in April. Key benchmark sensex in France,Germany and the UK moved up by 0.86 per cent to 1.52 per cent.
Back home,16 scrips out of the 30-share Sensex pack finished lower while 14 ended higher.
Major gainers from the Sensex were Hero Motocorp (2.87 pc),Sun Pharma (2.51 pc),Bajaj Auto (2.40 pc),RIL (1.74 pc),ICICI Bank (1.20 pc),Wipro (1.00 pc) and Dr Reddy’s Lab (0.99 pc),updated data showed.
However,Jindal Steel dropped by 3.76 per cent,followed by L&T (2.04 pc),SBI (1.61 pc),HDFC Bank (1.41 pc),Tata Motors (1.37 pc),BHEL (1.23 pc),Gail India (1.12 pc) and Tata Power (0.94 pc).
Among the sectoral indices,the S&P BSE-HC firmed up by 0.66 per cent,followed by S&P BSE-IT (0.64 pc) and S&P BSE-Oil&Gas (0.51 pc) while S&P BSE-CG dropped by 1.29 per cent and the S&P BSE-CD by 1.14 per cent.
The total market breadth turned negative as 1,227 stocks ended up while 1,134 scrips finished lower. The total turnover dropped to Rs 1,893.83 crore from Rs 2,180.15 crore yesterday.
Foreign institutional investors (FIIs) bought shares worth a net Rs 915.82 crore yesterday as per provisional data from the stock exchanges.