Indian stock benchmarks ended on a subdued note on Thursday as gains in Bharti Airtel, Nestle India, Tata Consultancy Services, Tata Steel and ITC were offset by losses in HDFC Bank, Reliance Industries, Titan, Axis Bank and Bajaj Finance. The Sensex moved in a narrow band of 248 points and the Nifty 50 index hit an intraday high of 17,379.65 and a low of 17,302.70. Benchmarks witnessed volatile moves in a narrow band as weekly index futures and options contracts expired.
The Sensex finished 55 points higher at 58,305 and the Nifty 50 index rose 16 points to close at 17,369.25.
“It will be crucial for the Nifty 50 index to stay around its support zone of 17,200-17,250. If Nifty can maintain the 17,200-17,250 level, it could see higher levels of 17,500. Technical indicators point to a volatile move in the market in a narrow range between 17,200-17,500,” said Ashis Biswas, chief of technical research at CapitalVia Global Research.
Thirteen of the 19 sector meters compiled by the BSE finished higher, led by the S&P BSE Telecom index with a gain of more than 2 percent. Energy, metals, utilities, FMC, IT and materials indices also rose between 0.6-1.2 percent.
By contrast, the Banks, Financial Services, Consumer Discretionary and Real Estate indices closed lower.
Mid and small cap stocks outperformed their larger competitors as the S&P BSE MidCap and SmallCap indices rose 0.5 percent.
Bharti Airtel was the top Sensex gainer, the stock rose almost 3 percent and closed at a record high of Rs 686. Nestle India, Tata Steel, Bajaj Finserv, HCL Technologies, ITC, Tech Mahindra, Asian Paints, TCS and NTPC also rose between 0 .4 -2.4 percent.
On the other hand, Titan, UltraTech Cement, Bajaj Auto, HDFC Bank, Axis Bank, Bajaj Finance, Mahindra & Mahindra and Reliance Industries were among the losers.
Overall market size was positive as 1,840 shares ended higher while 1,347 shares closed lower on the BSE.