It was a volatile day on the bourses. The markets opened in the green on the back of strong US and Asian cues. But the euphoria was short-lived.
The indices immediately slipped into the red as nervousness crept in for the second consecutive day around the Nifty 5,000 levels. And telecom stocks only aggravated the fall. Stocks such as Bharti Airtel and Reliance Communications were hammered on fears of a price war breaking out between the telecom players.
At one stage, the Nifty had slipped well before the psychological mark of 5,000, touching a low of 4921 - down 82 points from the previous close.
But all was not lost. The markets staged a V-shaped recovery in the late afternoon, led by buying on the FMCG, metal and banking counters. Short-covering by market participants thereafter thanks to positive cues from the European markets saw the indices rebound into green.
The Sensex finally ended at 16,958, up 92 points and the Nifty gained 21 points to close at 5,024.
Hindalco, Reliance Infrastructure and Hindustan Unilever hogged the limelight. On the BSE, Hindalco ended strong by 6.3% at Rs 125, Reliance Infrastrcuture closed firm by 5.4% at Rs 1,287 and Hindustan Unilever was up 4.7% at Rs 279. BHEL, ITC and Tata Steel gained between 3 and 4% each.
Bharti, Reliance Communications and Idea were the major losers in Tuesday's trade. Bharti Airtel shed 10.7% to close at Rs 357, Reliance Communications lost 10.6% to end at Rs 268 and Idea gave up 8% to shut shop at Rs 64 on the NSE.
The market breadth, however, was weak. Out of 2,791 stocks traded on Tuesday, there were 1,709 advancing stocks as against 1,012 declines.