Mumbai: Benchmark equity indices ended marginally higher after choppy trade Thursday as voting began in the first phase of the Lok Sabha elections.
The 30-share BSE Sensex inched up 21.66 points, or 0.06 percent, to close at 38,607.01. The broader NSE Nifty settled 12.40 points, or 0.11 percent, higher at 11,596.70.
Vedanta was the top loser in the Sensex pack, dropping 3.72 percent. Axis Bank, Sun Pharma, Infosys, PowerGrid, ICICI Bank, TCS, HCL Tech, Tata Steel, Kotak Bank, HDFC, IndusInd Bank and Maruti too fell up to 1.46 percent.
On the other hand, Bharti Airtel, Bajaj Finance, Bajaj Auto, Reliance Industries, Tata Motors, SBI, HUL, NTPC, ONGC, ITC and Asian Paints rose up to 2.19 percent.
Sectorally, BSE energy, telecom and oil and gas indices rose up to 1.11 percent, while BSE metal, IT and teck indices dropped up to 1.18 percent.
Traders said market mood was cautious as polling began in 91 constituencies spread across 18 states and two union territories in the first phase of Lok Sabha elections.
Meanwhile, foreign institutional investors (FIIs) purchased equity worth a net Rs 1,429.92 crore on Wednesday, while domestic institutional investors (DIIs) sold shares to the tune of Rs 461.29 crore, provisional data available with stock exchanges showed.
Elsewhere in Asia, markets in Japan, China and Korea ended on a mixed note.
In Europe, bourses in Germany, France and UK were trading in the positive terrain in early deals.
The benchmark Brent crude futures fell 0.44 percent to USD 71.29 per barrel.
Meanwhile, the rupee appreciated 11 paise to 69 against the US dollar intra-day.