Markets chalked up gains for the second consecutive session on Tuesday as the benchmark Sensex spurted over 45 points to close at 26,079.48.
But volumes were thin for yet another session as most foreign investors are away on a vacation in a year-end holiday season and other participants stayed off building their bets in a big way.
Covering-up of short positions by speculators added to the momentum, but profit-booking and caution ahead of the December derivatives expiry made sure the gains were limited.
Marked by such contrasting fortunes, the 30-share Sensex ended higher by 45.35 points, or 0.17%, at 26,079.48. The barometer had gained 195.42 points in the previous session. The 50-share NSE Nifty closed at 7,928.95, up 3.80 points, or 0.05%. Intra-day, it hovered between 7,942.15 and 7,902.75.
“Key benchmark indices in India remained indecisive in trade. Gains in European stocks triggered a recovery even as US stocks edged lower on Monday, weighed down by a drop in energy stocks as crude oil prices fell,” said Shreyash Devalkar, fund manager – equities, BNP Paribas Mutual Fund.
Setiment took a turn for the better after Asian and European stocks rose across the board despite losses on the Wall Street overnight.
Some stability in oil prices above the 11-year low and China stocks steadying after the previous session’s heavy losses brought some cheer.
Bajaj Auto showed the way, up 1.76% at Rs 2,531.15, followed by Mahindra and Mahindra (1.70%) and Hero MotoCorp (1.18%).
Gains in GAIL, HDFC, Bharti Airtel, Adani Ports, Tata Steel, ICICI Bank and Axis Bank too supported the upside. Of the 30-Sensex constituents, 19 ended with gains while 11 led by BHEL, Coal India, Hindustan Unilever and ITC fell.
Sector-wise, BSE auto index was in the pink of health as it rose 0.56%, followed by oil and gas (0.24%), bankex (0.24%), healthcare (0.06%) and consumer durables (0.01%). The broader markets displayed a mixed trend as investors strengthened their bets, lifting the BSE mid-cap index by 0.42%, while small-cap shed 0.13%.
Shares in Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore and Shanghai also ended higher while Europe was trading in the positive zone in early sessions, which buoyed sentiment. Meanwhile, foreign investors net sold shares worth Rs 302.62 crore on Monday, provisional data showed.