Mumbai: Rising for fifth straight day, the BSE benchmark Sensex on Tuesday closed 54 points higher at one-month high of 18,817.38, helped by a jump in Cipla shares and gains in banking majors SBI and HDFC Bank ahead of the festive season.
Sensex consolidated its gains after rising 332 points in the previous four trading sessions amid global stock markets remaining mostly mixed as investors remained cautious ahead of US Presidential polls and a Greek parliamentary vote on key austerity measures.
Brokers said there was stock-specific action on better earnings by Indian companies and foreign funds bought shares after a steep fall in rupee yesterday. It, however, was last trading at 54.45, up 16 paise from 54.61 a dollar on Monday.
The 30-share Sensex moved in a narrow range of over 100 points before ending with rise of 54.51 points or 0.29 percent at 18,817.38 -- the highest since the index closed at 18,938.46 on October 5.
Buying in HDFC, SBI, HDFC Bank, Cipla, ITC and ICICI Bank mainly supported the Sensex's rise. L&T, TCS, Maruti and Hindalco were, however, among major losers in Sensex.
"Cipla was up by about 4 percent following its robust Q2 numbers. Banking and power were the other major gainers. Auto sector was down today," said Nidhi Sarswat, Senior Research Analyst, Bonanza Portfolio.
After market hours Monday, Cipla had posted a 61.8 percent rise in consolidated net profit at Rs 500.01 crore for the second quarter ended September 30.
Banking and financial shares -- HDFC, SBI and HDFC Bank -- gained on hopes of robust loan demand during festivals, said analysts. Influential scrips RIL and Infosys also ended up.
Overall, the stock markets saw rise in realty and banking sectors while auto and capital goods saw some selling.
The 50-share NSE benchmark Nifty closed 20.20 points, or 0.35 percent, higher at 5,724.40.
Key benchmark indices in China, Hong Kong, Japan and Singapore closed with losses while those from South Korea and Taiwan finished lower. European stock markets were mostly trading higher (0.4-0.6 percent up) in their afternoon trade.
Back home, out of the 30-share Sensex family, 17 stocks finished with gains while 13 ended with losses.
Besides Cipla, other major gainers from the Sensex were Gail India (1.85 percent), HDFC (1.75 percent), Jindal Steel (1.43 percent), SBI (1.39 percent) and Tata Power (0.90 percent). Among losers, Hindalco dropped by 1.87 percent, followed by Maruti Suzuki (1.70 percent) and Tata Motors (1.06 percent).
Kishor P Ostwal, CMD, CNI Research said: "The market is overcautious on the US polls. While I believe that flows will continue whosoever wins the elections, there could be a short-term reaction."
Among the sectoral indices, the BSE-Realty shot up by 2.05 percent, followed the BSE-HC (0.95 percent), the BSE-Power (0.71 percent) and the BSE-Bankex (0.60 percent).
The market breadth turned positive as 1,519 stocks ended with gains while 1,318 stocks finished with losses. The total turnover firmed up to Rs 2,269.15 crore from Rs 1,703.30 crore Monday.
Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs) bought shares worth a net Rs 373.93 crore Monday as per provisional data from the stock exchanges.