Solid gains in Bharti Airtel, ICICI Bank and HDFC shares helped the benchmark Sensex on Wednesday log its first rise in three sessions and end about 96 points higher to reclaim the 26K level despite sharp losses suffered by L&T.
The BSE barometer recovered from initial hesitancy on buying in banking and auto counters while short-covering activity ahead of expiry of July equity derivative contracts on Thursday also aided the sentiment at fag-end, brokers said.
ITC, ONGC, Dr Reddy's Lab and Hindalco also notched good gains and supported the Sensex rise.
The 30-share barometer resumed lower and dipped to a low of 25,850.04 -- its lowest since July 22 -- to trade over 140 points lower. Later, it bounced back and finished at 26,087.42, registering a net rise of 96.19 points or 0.37%. The Sensex had plunged by over 280 points, or 1.07%, in the previous two trading sessions.
The 50-issue Nifty of the NSE also recovered by 42.70 points, or 0.55%, to close at 7,791.40. It had lost about 82 points in the previous two sessions.
Jignesh Chaudhary, Head of Research, Veracity Broking Services said: "Local equities closed positively with the help of some bluechip companies. Positive sentiments in the market has boosted the confidence of investors. FII buying in the local shares also helped." Construction and engineering giant Larsen and Toubro
(L&T) tumbled by 7.32 points on weak Q1 earnings.
However, Bharti Airtel, the top gainer from the Sensex and Nifty, helped lift the indices with over 5% gain on excellent Q1 results.
Earnings related buying was also seen in shares of ITC Ltd and Dr Reddys Lab. Overall in the 30-Sensex pack, 23 ended higher and 7 finished in negative zone.
A firming trend in Asian markets before the US Federal Reserve's update on monetary policy on Wednesday and a higher opening in European markets also impacted the domestic shares positively, brokers said.
Key benchmark indices in Japan, Hong Kong, South Korea and Taiwan rose by 0.18 to 1.00% while indices in China and Singapore fell by 0.07 to 0.09%.
European markets were also trading narrowly mixed as investors weighted corporate earnings. The UK's FTSE was quoting higher by 0.03% while France's CAC moved down by 0.07% while Germany's DAX ruled steady.
Besides Bharti Airtel, major Sensex gainers include Hero MotoCorp (2.69%), ICICI Bank (2.62%), Hindalco (2.53%), Dr Reddy's Lab (2.01%), Maruti Suzuki (1.90%), Cipla (1.81%), HDFC (1.71%), Gail India (1.68%), Axis Bank (1.59%), M&M (1.53%) and HDFC Bank (1.08%).
However, L&T dropped by 7.32%, followed by Tata Power 1.53%, Wipro 0.85% and SBI 0.78%.
Among the S&P BSE sectoral indices, Bankex rose by 1.57%, followed by Consumer Durables 1.47%, Healthcare 1.35% and Realty 0.82% while Capital Goods fell sharply by 4.68%.
Total market breadth remained negative as 1,490 stocks ended in the red, 1,390 finished in the green while 127 ruled steady. Total turnover rose to Rs. 3,253.14 crore from Rs. 2,462.88 crore on Monday.