Recovering from earlier losses, the Bombay Stock Exchange benchmark Sensex, on Wednesday, ended marginally higher on fag-end buying in fundamentally strong stocks, led by Maruti Suzuki.
The 30-share index, which had dipped by over 120 points in early trade, bounced back to close higher by 6.25 points at 17,755.94 points. After remaining subdued in early trade due to a mixed pattern in the Asian region on reports of fall in the US home sales, a recovery in European stock markets this afternoon lifted the market sentiment to some extent, brokers said.
The market was under selling pressure as investors squared up pending positions a day ahead of the expiry of monthly contract in the derivatives segment. Rising concerns of global economic growth after an unexpected decline in the US home sales and deepening European debt crisis also impacted the sentiment, they added.
The market returned to positive zone as some investors bought fundamentally strong stocks available at cheaper rates after the recent falls.
Stocks of Maruti Suzuki, Hero Honda, Infosys Technologies, DLF Ltd, Reliance Infra and HDFC recorded handsome gains of up to 2.78 per cent. In the 30-BSE index components, 20 stocks gained. Realty, healthcare, consumer durables, IT and auto stocks remained market fancy.
The broad-based National Stock Exchange index Nifty 6.60 points to 5,323.15, after touching the day's low of 5,288.15.
However, engineering major Larsen & Toubro falling over 1 per cent and market leader Reliance Industries declining 0.47 per cent capped the gains. The second-heaviest and major software exporting company Infosys rose by Rs 30.40 to Rs 2,798.50 and Tata Consultancy Services by Rs 6.95 to Rs 786.75.
Maruti Suzuki stocks rose by Rs 38 to Rs 1,407.35, Hero Honda by Rs 18.15 to Rs 2,037.95, HDFC Ltd by Rs 12.60 to Rs 2,994.30 and ACC Ltd by Rs 9.15 to Rs 869.95.
The realty sector index gained the most by rising 1.43 per cent to 3,208.83 as stocks of DLF Ltd rose by Rs 3.90 to Rs 291.75 and Reliance Infra by Rs 12.10 to Rs 1,185.75.
The healthcare segment index rose by 1.42 per cent to 5,740.88 followed by Teck index by 0.84 per cent to 3,299.80.
As investors looked for a safer place amid such volatility in the market, midcap sector index rose by 0.84 per cent to 7,123.71 and smallcap index by 0.70 per cent to 9,022.47.