Key share indices ended marginally up on Wednesday, amid a volatile trading session, led by capital goods and metal shares.
The Sensex which touched an intra-day high of 16,962 finally ended up 37 points at 16,897 while the Nifty which touched an intra-day high of 5,142 closed higher by 17 points at 5,121.
Meanwhile, rupee was trading at 55.99/00 versus its 55.95/96 close on Tuesday, trading largely in range with thin volumes.
Most dealers awaiting outcome of crucial Federal Reserve meeting later in day, with focus on whether central bank will announce more bond purchases.
On the global front, Asian markets rose on Wednesday as investors bet on a new round of stimulus from the U.S. Federal Reserve to pep up a flagging US recovery and offset the impact of a deepening euro zone debt crisis.
The Nikkei climbed 1.1% to 8,752.31, its highest closing level since May 17, as risk sentiment picked up and spurred gains for insurance and real estate companies.
European shares and the euro steadied on Wednesday, pausing after strong gains, as investors waited to see if the US.
Federal Reserve will adopt further monetary stimulus to help counter faltering economic growth. FTSE and CAC are trading slightly higher whereas DAX marginally down.
Back home, BSE Metal, Capital Goods, Healthcare, Power, Auto, Consumer Durable, Oil & gas and PSU indices surged between 0.6-1.3%. However, BSE Technology, FMCG and Realty indices ended marginally negative.
From the Metal space, Sterlite Inds was the top Sensex gainer, up over 3%. JSPL and Tata Steel [ Get Quote ] gained between 2-3%.
Capital Goods majors like L&T and BHEL spurted between 1-2% on after the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) called for a meeting today Wednesday to revive the contentious issue of imposing duty on foreign power equipment in the country.
Tata Power [ Get Quote ] gained 2% on hopes that correction in global coal prices could boost profitability of power producers.
ONGC [ Get Quote ] gained by nearly 2% on reports that its overseas arm, ONGC Videsh [ Images ], is planning to sell 50% stake in its Cuban offshore blocks.
Hindustan Unilever ended 2% higher and joined the elite club of Indian companies with market capitalisation of over Rs 1-lakh crore.
Auto shares like Tata Motors [ Get Quote ] and Hero Moto gained between 1-3%.
Other notable gainers include Dr Reddys Lab, Sun Pharma [ Get Quote ], GAIL, ICICI Bank [ Get Quote ] and SBI [ Get Quote ].
On the losing side, TCS [ Get Quote ] was the top Sensex loser, down by almost 2%.
Coal India ended down by nearly 2%. The government has allocated 116 mines to CIL for expansion to help it boost production capacity.
Other frontline losers include Bharti Airtel [ Get Quote ], ITC, Maruti Suzuki [ Images ], HDFC Bank [ Get Quote ], Cipla and Infosys [ Get Quote ].
Among the individual stocks, shares of cement manufacturers bounced back from their intra-day low levels, paring all their initial losses on the back of huge volumes.
ACC, Ambuja Cements, India Cements [ Get Quote ], Century Textiles [ Get Quote ] and Grasim Industries [ Get Quote ] ended higher on the Bombay Stock Exchange [ Images ].
Most of these stocks fell over 5% each in opening trades ahead of competition watchdog Competition Commission of India order accusing top cement companies over alleged price cartelization.
However, TV channel reports said that the companies effected price increases only to offset higher input cost -- freight rates, coal prices etc.
HCL Technologies [ Get Quote ] ended higher by 3% to Rs 487 on reports that information technology (IT) consulting and software firm has signed an IT outsourcing contract worth of over $200 million (Rs 1,100 crore) with Walt Disney [ Images ].
Manappuram Finance and Muthoot Finance ended higher between 4-5% on the back of huge volumes in early noon trades.
Sintex Industries [ Get Quote ] ended higher by 5% at Rs 60.80, extending its previous day gain of around 1%, after the company said that, the public sector insurance giant Life Insurance Corporation of India has acquired shares worth of Rs 6 crore through an open market transaction.
Educomp Solutions [ Get Quote ] soared 11% to Rs 152.50 after the company said that it has arranged $155 million to pay off foreign currency convertible bonds of $78.5 million on due date.
The broader markets outperformed the benchmark indices, BSE Midacap and Smallcap indices surged by almost 0.8%.
The market breadth in BSE ended healthy with 1,617 shares advancing and 1,090 shares declining.