The BSE benchmark Sensex snapped its 5-day losing streak but failed to maintain initial sharp gains due to fag-end profit booking, mainly in power and capital goods sectors, and closed about 68 points up at 18,090.62. Smart rise in heavyweights like RIL, ICICI Bank, TCS, Tata Motors and Bharti Airtel helped the Sensex rise. As news of former Telecom Minister A Raja's arrest, along with his two former associates in connection with the 2G spectrum scam, filtered in, the market washed out major part of its early gains.
Initially, the Sensex shot up to a high at 18,306.00, up nearly 284 points, on fresh buying in Realty, Oil & Gas, Metal and IT on strong global cues.However, fag-end selling pressure pulled it down to close at 18,090.62, showing a gain of just 68.40 points or 0.38 per cent from the last close. In the last five straight sessions, the Sensex had tumbled 1,129.06 points or 5.90 per cent.
The NSE 50-issue Nifty also recovered moderately by 14.80 points or 0.27 per cent to end at 5,432.00 points. Recently battered realty counters attracted good buying support at lower levels, resulting the sectoral BSE-Realty index rising by 51.24 points or 2.40 per cent and was the top gainer followed by refinery and tech segments.
However, power and capital goods were at the receiving end on profit-booking. On the global front, Asian stocks finished higher today after Wall Street hit new highs on strong manufacturing data, and easing concerns about the Egyptian crisis.
Key indices from Singapore, Japan and Hong Kong ended up between 0.8 and 1.86 per cent while markets from China, South Korea and Taiwan were close ahead of Lunar New Year holiday.
European markets were trading narrowly mixed in their afternoon deals. The FTSE was up 0.68 per cent and the DAX by 0.09 per cent, while the CAC was down 0.03 per cent.
Despite rise in the Sensex, 17 out of 30 index-based scrips ended in the red. Tata Motors spurted 3.93 per cent, RIL - 2.88 pc, DLF - 2.85 pc, Bharti Airtel - 2.75 pc, TCS - 2.48 pc, Hindalco - 2.18 pc, HUL - 2.14 pc, Sterlite Ind - 2.12 pc, Wipro - 2.03 pc, ICICI Bank - 1.54 pc and Jaipra Asso by 1.44 pc.
However, Hero Honda dropped by 5.27 per cent, BHEL - 2.69 pc, NTPC - 2.65 pc, Bajaj Auto - 2.30 pc, HDFC - 2.22 pc, Maruti Suzuki - 2.02 pc, Cipla - 1.89 pc, Tata Power - 1.16 pc, RCom - 1.10 pc and HDFC Bank by 1.08 per cent.
From the sectoral indices, BSE-Realty index rose by 2.40 per cent, BSE-Oil & Gas - 1.85 pc, BSE-Teck - 1.09 pc and the BSE-IT - 0.90 pc, while BSE-Power dipped 1.34 pc and the BSE-CG by 0.96 pc.
The total market breadth improved slightly as 1,421 stocks settled with gains, against 1,382 that closed with losses on the BSE. The total turnover was better at Rs 3,595.50 crore from Rs 3,456.43 crore on Tuesday.