After falling over 215 points in the mid-session in a knee-jerk reaction to the Supreme Court's coal verdict, the benchmark Sensex on Wednesday recouped most losses to end with a small dip of 31 points on good support from bluechips like Coal India, Hindustan Unilever and Cipla.
In a major blow to the corporate sector, the apex court on Wednesday quashed allocation of 214 out of 218 coal blocks which were alloted to various companies since 1993 and in which it was claimed that around Rs 2 lakh crores were invested.
Following the ruling, Jindal Steel and Power tumbled 9.99% and Usha Martin dived 11.83%, among others. Lenders like SBI and ICICI Bank also logged losses.
A cautious stance by participants before the expiry of the monthly derivatives contracts on Thursday also influenced the sentiment.
"As Supreme Court in another verdict once again declared allocation of most of the coal blocks as illegal, high volatility was seen.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister's US visit shall be in focus in coming sessions," said Nidhi Saraswat, Senior Research Analyst, Bonanza Portfolio.
The Sensex after opening in positive zone rose to the day's high of 26,844.70 in early trade. However, it succumbed to selling pressure after the Supreme Court's ruling and touched a low of 26,560.00.
Buying towards fag-end in select bluechips helped the Sensex recoup major part of losses to close barely 31 points, or 0.12%, down at 26,744.69.
The gauge had plunged 431.05 points in Tuesday's trade on selling by foreign funds and weak global cues.
On similar lines, the NSE 50-share Nifty after dipping below the 8,000-mark to hit a low of 7,950.05, recovered partially to close at 8,002.40, down a mere 15.15 points, or 0.19%.
Bucking the trend, stocks of Coal India climbed 5.02%, Hindustan Unilever 2.87%, Cipla 2.62%, ITC 1.58% and Wipro 1.56%. Tata Power and NTPC also ended in the green.
Meanwhile, Foreign Portfolio Investors (FPIs) sold shares worth a whopping Rs 1,185.17 crore on Tuesday as per the provisional data issued by stock exchanges.
Global cues were not conducive as Asian bourses ended mixed. European markets were also weak in early trades.
Sectorwise, BSE Capital Goods index suffered the most by losing 1.69%, followed by Realty 1.69%, Consumer Durables index 1.27%, Banking index 1.08%, Auto index 0.51% and Power index 0.36%.