The BSE benchmark Sensex on Monday rebounded from the calendar year's lowest levels to close 33 points up at 19,501.08 on the back of buying in HDFC, L&T, HUL and SBI shares.
After two days of losses, the 30-share index touched an intra-day low of 19,462.92 but then progressed upwards to end at 19,501.08 – a gain of 32.93 points, or 0.17%.
Brokers said trading remained cautious ahead of Budget this month-end and reduced positions to pick up fundamentally strong scrips. While Tata Steel led 17 gainers in Sensex with 2.49% rise, HDFC, L&T and HUL closed up in 1.5-1.9% range. SBI, Bhel, Sterlite and Hero Moto also closed up.
"As we move towards Budget, investors might remain on sidelines to see the outcome and then decide the future course," said Nagji K Rita, CMD, Inventure Growth & Securities.
RIL gained after Telecom Commission approved provision for companies holding internet services licences with spectrum like Reliance Jio Infocomm (RJI) to provide phone call service by paying additional fee of Rs. 1,658 crore each.
Outside the benchmark indices, Jet Airways plunged 7.7% amid reports Etihad may revise a deal to buy stake. Sugar scrips like EID Parry, Shree Renuka and Bajaj Hindusthan gained 4-6% on hopes sector deregulation soon.
DLF gained 5% fter recent losses post-earnings.
Experts said gains were capped to some extent due to late profit booking, Moody's warning on India's widening trade deficit and tepid activity in global markets.
Sectorally, the Realty sector index gained the most at 2.08%, followed by Capital Goods at 1.18%, Power index at 1.03% and Metal index at 0.49%.
The NSE 50-share Nifty also moved up by 10.80 points or 0.18% to finish at 5,898.20. "A move past 5,920 could provide sustainable recovery," said Amar Ambani, head of research, IIFL.