Helped by gains in Reliance Industries and ICICI Bank, the BSE benchmark Sensex on Wednesday closed above the 20,000-level, up 14 points, amid cautious trading before monthly expiry of derivatives on Thursday.
Sensex gained by 14.10 points to close at 20,005. The gauge touched day's high of 20,073.46 and a low of 19,964.64 with 12 of the BSE index components ending with gains.
It had lost 113 points in the previous two days with Tuesday seeing Sensex shed 112.45 points on profit booking after RBI cut rates but also lowered GDP growth projection.
RIL ended 1.87% up on hopes natural gas prices will be doubled soon. ONGC, which is also expected to be a beneficiary from the move, gained 1.6% on good buying.
"With gas price hike to $8/mmbtu expected to go through, beneficiaries RIL and ONGC have seen interest building up," said Amar Ambani, Head of Research, IIFL.
ICICI Bank, which rose 1.11%, led gains among bank space in 30-share Sensex ahead of its quarterly earnings on Thursday.
"Markets were range bound and action was stock specific ahead of January F&O expiry. PSU banks witnessed sharp declines after lower than expected quarterly result and lack of continuity in the future direction of RBI interest rate policy," said Shubham Agarwal, Associate VP & Senior Technical Equities Analyst, Motilal Oswal Securities Ltd.
HUL, ONGC, HDFC Bank, Cipla, Tata Steel and Wipro notched up good gains while L&T, ITC, Tata Motors, HDFC, SBI, GAIL India, Bharti Airtel and Tata Power closed with losses.
The broad-based National Stock Exchange index Nifty added 5.85 points to 6,066.75 led by stocks of realty, consumer durables and refinery stocks.
Private banking stocks saw good demand. Axis bank logged its fresh 52-week high and closed 1.70% higher. Yes Bank and Indusind Bank also closed higher. However, state-run banks like Union Bank, PNB, BoI, BoB, Canara Bank and SBI ended weak.
Asian stocks ended higher ahead of a policy decision from the US Federal Reserve, while selected Japanese shares also went up. Key benchmark indices in China, Taiwan, Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong and Singapore rose by 0.40-2.28%.
However, European stocks were quoting nearly flat as cautious investors stayed away ahead of policy announcement from the US Federal and US growth data.
Moving back the local market, Cipla (2.69%), HUL (1.97%), RIL (1.87%), Tata Steel (1.75%), Wipro (1.72%), ONGC (1.61%), Sterlite Ind (1.41%) and ICICI Bank (1.11%) were major gainers in Sensex.
However, Gail India dropped by 3.35%, followed by Tata Power (2.73%), L&T (1.92%), Jindal Steel (1.77%), Tata Motors (1.53%), Bharti Airtel (1.22%) and SBI (0.89%).
Among the sectoral indices, the BSE-Realty rose by 1.39%, followed by BSE-CD (1.24%) and BSE-Oil&Gas (1.06%) while BSE-CG dropped by 1.24%, BSE-power by 0.68% and BSE-Auto by 0.49%.
The market breadth continued to show negative trend as 1,219 stocks closed with losses while 969 ended with gains.
The total turnover dropped to Rs. 2,074.56 crore from Rs. 2,608.50 crore yesterday.
Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs) continued its buying spree as they bought shares worth Rs. 899.83 crore yesterday as per provisional data from the stock exchanges.