Mumbai: The benchmark Sensex ended 24 points higher Thursday after a choppy session ahead of second-quarter results from Infosys, which kicks off the earnings season.
Auto, metal and IT stocks advanced as 10 of the 13 BSE sectoral indices gained. Tata Motors, HDFC and Infosys boosted the Sensex, while HDFC Bank, ITC and Hindustan Unilever dragged it lower.
Infosys, which reports Q2 results tomorrow, gained 0.53 percent to Rs 3,124.15, rising for the fourth session.
The 14 gainers on the index included Mahindra and Mahindra and NTPC. Tata Steel extended yesterday's gains after saying production and sales increased in the second quarter. Among the losers were Tata Power and Hindalco.
The S&P BSE Sensex opened lower and traded in a range of 20,135.91 to 20,323.77 before ending at 20,272.91, a rise of 23.65 points or 0.12 percent. It was the third day of gains for the index and the highest close since reaching 20,646.64 on September 19.
"Buying interest is strong on the midcap and smallcap front," said Milan Bavishi, head of research at Inventure Growth and Securities. "While market is trading in a range on a weekly basis, directional cues will come from how the result season pans out."
The CNX Nifty on the National Stock Exchange gained 13.50 points, or 0.22 percent, to 6,020.95. The SX40 index on the MCX Stock Exchange added 23.42 points to 12,079.15.
Investors are also awaiting the Index of Industrial Production for August, which the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation is scheduled to release tomorrow.
Foreign institutional investors bought a net Rs 326.58 crore of shares yesterday, according to provisional data from the stock exchanges.
US index futures indicated a stronger opening on signs of progress in ending the deadlock in Washington.
Asian stock markets ended mixed, with key indices in Singapore and Japan rising while indices in China, Hong Kong and South Korea fell.
European markets gained on expectations US lawmakers will agree on a compromise deal to avoid an unprecedented default. Key indices in France, Germany and UK were up.
In the local market, gainers on the Sensex were led by Tata Motors (5 percent), M&M (1.83 percent), NTPC (1.72 percent), Tata Steel (1.68 percent) and Maruti Suzuki (1.64 percent).
The losers on the index included Tata Power, which fell 2.21 percent, followed by Hindalco Industries 2.21 percent, Hindustan Unilever 1.25 percent and HDFC Bank 1.19 percent.
Among the sectoral indices, the S&P BSE Auto firmed up 1.94 percent, followed by S&P BSE Metal 0.49 percent, S&P BSE IT 0.44 percent and S&P BSE Healthcare 0.36 percent. The S&P BSE Bankex eased 0.39 percent and S&P BSE Oil & Gas 0.09 percent.
The market breadth remained positive as 1,427 shares finished with gains, 1,013 ended with losses and 150 stocks ruled steady.
Total turnover rose to Rs 1,901.89 crore from Rs 1,815.17 crore yesterday.
First Published: Thursday, October 10, 2013, 18:00