The Indian equity benchmarks edged higher on Thursday ahead of weekly expiry of index futures and option contracts led by gains in Infosys, Tata Consultancy Services, Reliance Industries, Larsen & Toubro and Power Grid. However, the upside was capped owing to selling pressure in HDFC Bank, Wipro, ICICI Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank and Asian Paints.
As of 9:29 am, the Sensex was up 0.2 per cent at 61,282 and Nifty 50 index advanced 0.23 per cent to 18,254.
"On technical grounds, Nifty has an immediate resistance at 18,300. If Nifty closes above that, further upside can be expected towards 18,400-18,500 mark. On the flip side 18,150-18,070 will act as strong support levels," brokerage firm Nirmal Bang said. "It’s a stock specific market trade calls with strict stop loss," it added.
Eight of 15 sector gauges compiled by the National Stock Exchange were trading lower led by the Nifty Realty index's 0.8 per cent decline. Nifty Private Bank, Consumer Durables, Bank, Auto, Financial Services, and FMCG indices were also trading with a negative bias.
On the other hand, Nifty Metal index was top sectoral gainer, the index jumped 2 per cent. IT, Media, Pharma and Healthcare shares were also witnessing buying interest.
Mid- and small-cap shares were witnessing buying interest as Nifty Midcap 100 index rose 0.3 per cent and Nifty Smallcap 100 index advanced 0.5 per cent.
Tata Steel was top Nifty gainer, the stock rose 4.2 per cent to Rs 1,195. Coal India, JSW Steel, Power Grid, Sun Pharma, Hindalco, UPL, NTPC, Larsen & Toubro, Infosys and Indian Oil also rose between 0.8-2.9 per cent.
On the flipside, Wipro, HDFC Bank, Tata Motors, Asian Paints, HCL Technologies, Mahindra & Mahindra, Shree Cements, Axis Bank and Kotak Mahindra Bank were among the losers.
The overall market breadth was positive as 1,676 shares were advancing while 1,292 shares were declining on the BSE.