Mumbai: After jumping over 100 points, the Sensex on Thursday pared some gains to close just 33 points higher, amid investors adopting a cautious approach ahead of the much-awaited ECB policy meeting later in the day.
The BSE benchmark index, which had lost 128 points in the previous session, commenced lower today but rose to day's high of 17,418.40 on hopes of a bond buying announcement when European Central Bank's governing council meets in Frankfurt.
Domestic investors, however, became cautious as the session progressed amid selling in ITC, which slumped 2.7 percent. HDFC Bank and Bharti Airtel that fell 1-2 percent also dragged the 30-share Sensex lower.
On similar lines, the National Stock Exchange index Nifty rose by 12.70 points to 5,238.40, after dipping to 5,217.65.
Traders said good buying support in Infosys, ICICI Bank, Wipro, TCS and Tata Motors provided support to the index as it closed 32.93 points higher at 17,346.27.
IT stocks were in demand as the rupee touched 56.03, its lowest against dollar in almost a month, will likely help companies notch gains as sales in rupee terms will get a boost, said dealers.
"Markets showed strength but also showed profit booking during last hour. Bullish investors have not been able to take control," said Puneet Kinra, Senior Technical Analyst, Bonanza Portfolio.
Buying activity slowed on reports that the Planning Commission is proposing to lower annual the country's average economic growth rate to 8.2 percent in the 12th Five Year Plan (2012-17) from 9 percent envisaged earlier.
Market experts said global sentiment was largely positive on firming Asian and European trends as investors waited for European Central Bank to give details of its plan to stem the region's debt crisis.
Meanwhile, uproar over coal block issue paralysed proceedings of Parliament for 12th consecutive day today, drowning most of the Monsoon Session which ends tomorrow.
Asian stocks recovered most of it early losses and mostly edged up higher. Key benchmark indices China, Hong Kong, Japan and South Korea closed with small gains while those from Singapore and Taiwan finished with losses.
European markets were trading higher in the afternoon deals ahead of European Central Bank's policy meeting. The CAC was up by 0.92 percent, the DAX by 1.22 percent and the FTSE by 0.62 percent. Earlier, the Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee maintained UK interest rates at 0.5 percent.
Kishor Ostwal, CMD, CNI Research Ltd. Said," the Indian market ended in positive zone only due to short-covering ahead of the S&P review for which the date is still not known."
From the 30-share Sensex pack, 17 stocks ended with gains while 13 others finished with losses. Besides the top gainers, others including Jindal Steel (1.98 percent), Tata Motors (1.90 percent), ICICI Bank (1.86 percent), Gail India (1.65 percent), NTPERCENT (1.57 percent), SBI (1.15 percent) and ONGC (1.10 percent) notched up smart gains.
However, BHEL dropped by 3.20 percent, followed by Bharti Airtel (2.09 percent), HUL (0.98 percent) and HDFC Bank (0.91 percent).
Among the sectoral indices, besides IT that rose 2.55 percent, the BSE-Teck rose by 1.85 percent, followed by the BSE-Auto (0.73 percent), the BSE-HC (0.59 percent) and the Bankex (0.52 percent). The BSE-FMCG dropped by 1.76 percent, the BSE-CD by 0.86 percent and the BSE-CG by 0.76 percent.
Giving outlook of NSE Nifty, Shubham Agarwal, AVP & Senior Technical Equities Analyst, Motilal Oswal Securities said: "Nifty has two trend lines coinciding around 5200-5220 band, which is providing support on a temporary basis. Pullbacks cannot be ruled out but it could exhaust up to 5300."
The total market breadth turned positive as 1,446 stocks ended higher while 1,333 scrips finished lower. The total turnover dropped to Rs 1,656.30 crore from Rs 1,977.79 crore on Wednesday.
Foreign institutional investors (FIIs) sold shares worth net Rs 188.65 crore yesterday as per the provisional data with the stock exchanges.
First Published: Thursday, September 6, 2012, 16:42