The benchmark Sensex on Tuesday erased initial losses and closed about six points up at a new closing peak of 26,442.81, extending gains for the fourth straight session, on recovery in select metal and auto scrips combined with buying in defensive sectors like FMCG and healthcare.
S&P BSE 30-share barometer resumed lower in line with weak Asian cues and moved in a range of 26,481.97 and 26,314.89. It ended at new closing high of 26,442.81, logging a small rise of 5.79 points, or 0.02 %. In four straight sessions, the Sensex has gained over 128 points.
However, the broader 50-issue CNX Nifty of the NSE eased for the second straight day and closed at 7,904.75, a fall of 1.55 points, or 0.02 %. It moved between 7,862.45 and 7,915.45 intra day on alternate bouts of selling and buying.
Brokers said investors have slowly come to terms with the potential impact of the Supreme Court's ruling on coal block allocations. As a result, Hindalco, Tata Steel, JSW Steel, Hindustan Zinc and SAIL rebounded from their early lows.
However, some counters like Jindal Steel and Bhushan Steel continued to suffer.
Heavy selling was initially seen after Competition Commission of India imposed Rs. 2,545 crore fine on 14 car makers, including Tata Motors, Maruti Suzuki and Mahindra & Mahindra, for violating trade norms in the spare parts and after services market.
However, short-coverings ahead of the expiry of August contract on Thursday aided the smart recovery in auto as well as metal stocks also, trader said.
Some shares from power, capital goods and refinery sectors attracted profit-booking while pharma and FMCG were in demand as investors tried to seek safe refuge, they added.
"The Sensex closed marginally higher and CNX Nifty closed marginally lower after witnessing intraday volatility...Going ahead, volatility is expected to continue as F&O expiry and GDP numbers are due on Thursday and Friday," said Jayant Manglik, President-retail distribution, Religare Securities.
Meanwhile, Foreign Portfolio Investors (FPIs) picked up shares worth a net Rs. 127.33 crore on Monday as per provisional data from the stock exchanges.
In Asia, barring South Korea and Taiwan which closed slightly better, other country indices ended in the red between 0.22 % and 0.99 %.
European markets were trading mixed with downward bias in their late morning deals. The CAC was down 0.07 % and the DAX by 0.37 %. The FTSE, however, was up 0.27 %.
Back home, 15 scrips out of the 30-share Sensex pack ended higher. Major Sensex gainers were Hindalco (3.64 %), Tata Steel (2.57 %), Gail (1.49 %), HUL (1.40 %), Sun Phamra (1.35 %), Cipla (1.09 %), Tata Motors (0.90 %) and ITC (0.73 %).
However, Tata Power fell by 2.77 %, ONGC 2.48 %, Larsen & Toubro 1.33 %, Maruti 0.96 %, Wipro 0.78 %, SBI 0.64 % and NTPC 0.63 %.
Among the S&P BSE indices, Healthcare (HC) rose by 1.12 %, FMCG 0.90 % and Metal 0.75 % while Power fell by 1.32 %, Capital Goods (CG) 0.84 % and Oil&Gas 0.70 %.
The total market breadth remained negative as 1,828 stocks finished lower, 1,130 stocks ended higher while 116 ruled steady. Total equity turnover dropped to Rs. 2,804.76 crore from Rs. 2,887.96 crore on Monday.
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