In choppy trade, the benchmark Sensex today closed about 7 points higher as investors adopted a cautious stance ahead of the monthly settlement in the equity derivatives segment. The BSE Sensex, which had retreated from record closing yesterday, recovered marginally by 6.58 points, or 0.03%, to end at 24,556.09. Intra-day, it moved between 24,643.33 and 24,488.81. Similarly, the 50-scrip National Stock Exchange index Nifty recovered 11.65 points, or 0.16%, to end at 7,329.65 after touching day's high of 7,344.75. Intra-day, it hit a low of 7,302.60.
"In coming sessions, 7350 shall be crucial deciding level in near term, and index is likely to witness further buying above this level," said Rakesh Goyal, Senior Vice President, Bonanza Portfolio. Brokers said investors who had been buying aggressively in the past few sessions turned cautious at prevailing levels amid tomorrow's monthly expiry in futures and options.
There is also a concern that the 10% rally this month so far has made markets a tad expensive, they added. Selling was more confined to recent outperformers like Infosys, Tata Consultancy, ICICI Bank, GAIL India, HDFC, State Bank of India, BHEL, Maruti and L&T. In 30-share Sensex, 16 stocks gained, while 14 declined led by Coal India, Bajaj Auto, M&M and NTPC.
Sectors which gained in today's trade include capital goods, realty, IT, teck and banking. Cement sector stocks witnessed a fresh spell of buying with Ultratech up 5.97%, Ambuja Cement 5.71%, Shree Cements 2.99% and ACC 4.35%. Sectorally, the BSE IT sector index gained the most (1.52%), followed by Teck index (1.42%), Realty index (1.40%), Banking index (0.56%) and Capital Goods index (0.45%). On the other hand, BSE Small-cap index closed 1.63% higher at 9,028.82 and BSE Mid-cap index by 0.40% to 8,463.09 points. PTI SUN KPS DP SDG KSR 05281633 NNNN