Photographs: Reuters Jinsy Mathew in Mumbai
Markets closed marginally in the green with the Sensex up 42 points at 21,075 and the Nifty gained 10 points to end the day at 6,278 as traders rolled over positions in the futures & options (F&O) segment from the near month December 2013 series to January 2014 series.
Gains in names like HDFC Bank, Infosys and ONGC in the last hour of trade helped the benchmark indices to close in the positive territory.
Through the day, the benchmark indices traded in a narrow range, briefly slipping into the negative territory in noon deals. The Nifty touched a high of 6,303 and slipped to a low of 6,270 in intra-day trades.
Meanwhile, the broader markets remained resilient with the smallcap index adding over 1% and the midcap index gained 0.4%, both outperforming the BSE benchmark index which was up 0.2%.
The rupee is trading weaker at 61.98 versus its close of 61.79/80 on Tuesday, with dollar demand from oil firms hurting. Traders expect exporters to step up dollar selling around 62-62.05 levels, limiting very sharp gains from current levels.
Sectors & Stocks
Among the sectoral indices, Realty, Auto and Health Care were the only indices to close in the negative territory, losing 0.1-0.5%.
Power index 1% followed by Consumer Durables, Bankex, Metal, IT and Tech indices which added 0.3-0.9% were the notable index gainers.
Tata Power up 4% was the top Sensex-30 gainer for the day.
From the oil & Gas space, ONGC and Gail India up 2.3% and 0.6% were the notable gainers.
HDFC Bank and Axis Bank closed in the green with gains of 1.8% and 1.2%.
IT heavyweights, Infosys and Wipro closed higher up 1.4% and 0.8%.
Tata Steel, BHEL, Bharti Airtel and Sun Pharma which added 0.6-1.5% rounded off the gainers list.
Auto shares had a bad day with all the major names closing in the red. Bajaj Auto down 2% was the top loser followed by Hero MotoCorp, Mahindra & Mahindra, Tata Motors and Maruti Suzuki down 0.2-1.7%.
Pharma stocks like Dr Reddys Lab and Cipla slipped by 0.2-2%.
Index heavyweights like Reliance Industries, TCS, L&T, SBI, HDFC and HUL were weaker by 0.2-1%.
The market breadth was positive on the BSE owing to gains in the broader markets. 1629 stocks advanced while 902 stocks declined.
Tokyo's Nikkei share average climbed to a more than six-year high, driven by buying from retail investors as tax-free investment accounts aimed at driving Japanese savings into stocks kicked off.
The Nikkei ended 1% higher at 16,174.44, its highest since November 2007, while the broader Topix index was up 1.7% at 1,279.34, with 2.66 billion share changing hands, hitting its highest in four sessions.
On the other hand, Chinese shares closed down on Thursday on worries over liquidity conditions after the central bank declined to inject funds into the money market.
The Shanghai Composite Index closed down 1.6% while the CSI300 index of the top Shanghai and Shenzhen listings dropped 1.7%.
Hong Kong markets were closed for Christmas.