Mumbai: A strong buying in blue-chip shares helped curb the downbeat mood in domestic markets, which gained overnight on US President Barack Obama re-election, but the benchmark S&P CNX Nifty still closed lower by 21 points at National Stock Exchange (NSE) Thursday.
Against the backdrop of global sell-off, the 50-share index opened down by almost one percent on the back of heavy unwinding by speculative traders. But good buying at low levels along with short-covering cut losses immediately.
The market remained in a consolidation phase throughout the session after reacting to post-election sell-off in US stocks.
The Wall Street tanked by more than 3 percent in overnight trade, its worst sell-off this year, as investors began to worry over negotiations on fiscal matters (known as "fiscal cliff") and downgrading fears from Fitch Ratings amid worsening eurozone crisis.
However, firm buying in heavyweights like Tata Motors, SBI and Bharti Airtel helped the market to recover the lost ground to a large extent. Tata Motors rose over 5 percent on robust numbers from JLR, while SBI gained over 1.14 percent ahead of earnings.
Select bank, capital goods, infra, pharma and technology counters encoutered profit taking.
The Nifty swung widely between a high of 5,744.50 and a low of 5,693.95 before finishing at 5,738.75, a loss of 21.35 points, or 0.37 percent, over the previous close.
L&T, GAIL, IDFC, Reliance Infra, Tata Power, Bank of Baroda, ICICI Bank, Hero MotorCop, Grasim and Bajaj Auto were the top percentage-wise Nifty losers. Notable gainers included Tata Motors, Bharti Airtel, Wipro, Asian Paint, SBIN, DLF, Sesa Goa, Tata Steel, HCL Tech and BHEL.
The turnover in cash segment moved up marginally to Rs 11,132.91 crore from Rs 11,069.81 crore yesterday. Overall, 6,838.17 lakh shares changed hands in 55,93,052 trades. Total market capitalisation was Rs 64,82,039 crore.