Stocks drove into consolidation mode on Thursday in absence of fresh triggers as the Sensex remained marginally up and closed at 29,330. The positive turn was witnessed by Sensex ahead of release of key macro data on Friday.
Leaving the RBI policy meet behind, where the central bank kept repo rate on hold on Wednesday, the markets saw intermittent spells of turbulence all throughout.
Buying activity ahead of December IIP data due on Friday and optimism about corporate earnings steered the domestic market, traders said. The Sensex opened higher and moved between 28,469.48 and 28,152.18 before ending at 28,329.70, a moderate rise of 39.78 points, or 0.14 per cent. The volatile Sensex swung over 317 points during the day. The NSE Nifty inched higher by 9.35 points, or 0.11 percent, to close at 8,778.40. Intra-day, it hovered in a range of 8,821.40 and 8,724.10.
"SIAM's auto numbers have shown that passenger vehicle sales have recovered from the effect of demonetisation, adding to the positive expectations towards tomorrow's IIP release," said Anand James, Chief Market Strategist, Geojit FinancialServices.
The broader markets traded in sync with the benchmarks as the mid-cap and small-cap gained 0.23 per cent and 0.19 percent, respectively. The rupee's rising fortunes continued as it closed 34paise higher at 66.85 -- a 3-month high -- against the dollar.
A better opening in Europe infused some positivity. Among Sensex 30 constituents, TCS gained the most by surging 2.72 per cent. Other gainers included Infosys, GAIL, Wipro, ITC and RIL.
Shares of Hero MotoCorp gained 1.26 per cent despite a fall in standalone net profit in October-December on account of demonetisation. Banking shares faced some heat after RBI threw a surprise by keeping policy rates steady and shifting its stance to'neutral' from 'accommodative'.
SBI, HDFC Bank, Axis Bank, PNB, Bank of Baroda, Yes Bank and ICICI Bank lost, dragging down the bank index by 0.47 percent. Pharma firm Lupin rose 0.51 per cent after the company reported a robust increase in consolidated net profit.
In sectoral dynamics, BSE IT advanced 1.64 per cent.Others such as technology, consumer durables, realty and FMCGtoo rose, in that order. Foreign investors sold shares worth a net Rs 127.69 crore on Wednesday, provisional data showed. Domestic institutional investors (DIIs) also net divested shares of Rs 166.82 crore. Other Asian markets ended on a mixed note.
European shares rose at the start as Frankfurt's DAX 30gained 0.30 per cent, Paris CAC 40 added 0.60 per cent andLondon's FTSE rose 0.20 per cent.