The BSE Sensex, which had retreated from record closing yesterday, recovered marginally by 6.58 points, or 0.03 per cent, to end at 24,556.09. Intra-day, it moved between 24,643.33 and 24,488.81.
Similarly, the 50-scrip NSE Nifty recovered 11.65 points, or 0.16 per cent, 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 per cent 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 per cent, Ambuja Cement 5.71 per cent, Shree Cements 2.99 per cent and ACC 4.35 per cent.
Sectorally, the BSE IT sector index gained the most (1.52 per cent), followed by Teck index (1.42 per cent), Realty index (1.40 per cent), Banking index (0.56 per cent) and Capital Goods index (0.45 per cent).
On the other hand, BSE Small-cap index closed 1.63 per cent higher at 9,028.82 and BSE Mid-cap index by 0.40 per cent to 8,463.09 points.
Indian shares edge higher; May derivatives expiry in focus
(Reuters) - Indian shares edged up on Wednesday as cement stocks such as UltraTech Cement rose on value buying, but broader gains were capped as foreign investors turned modest sellers while caution also prevails ahead of the expiry of May derivatives.
Overseas investors sold shares worth 2.03 billion rupees ($34.4 million) on Tuesday, their third session of selling in four, provisional exchange data showed, although aggregate net purchases totalled $11.6 million over the four sessions.
Although the sums are modest, given inflows into shares this year still reaching $7.68 billion, it was seen reflecting some of the waning momentum after shares had hit a string of record highs, including most recently on March 16 when the Bharatiya Janata Party won a clear majority in the country's elections.
Investors now await actual measures from the government, while caution also prevails ahead of the expiry of derivative contracts on Thursday and the Reserve Bank of India's policy review on June 3.
Hemant Kanawala, head of equity at Kotak Life Insurance, advised investors keep faith in new Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
"Have faith in the new prime minister for taking the right decisions," he told Reuters. "He has given the direction and there would be continuous monitoring of the ministerial appointments."
The benchmark BSE index rose 0.03 percent, or 6.58 points, to end at 24,556.09.
The broader NSE index advanced 0.16 percent, or 11.65 points, to end at 7,329.65.
Cement makers led gainers as the sector is still seen by some analysts as offering good bargains at a time of growing hopes that the new government would turn to infrastructure projects to help boost economic growth.
UltraTech Cement rose 4.9 percent, after falling 2.9 percent as of Tuesday since the week ended on May 16, during when the NSE gained 1.6 percent.
Ambuja Cements rose 5.4 percent after falling 7.1 percent since May 16 until the previous close on profit-taking.
Shipping Corp of India Ltd surged 13.8 percent after the company on Tuesday posted its first quarterly net profit since the July-September quarter in 2012 on improving performance in its bulk shipping and liner businesses.
ICRA jumped 17.6 percent after global ratings agency Moody's raised its existing tender offer price to 2,400 rupees per share from 2,000 rupees per share in its continued bid to increase its stake in the domestic company.
Larsen & Toubro gained 0.7 percent after the company said it got orders for $480 million in Bangladesh.
However, Jet Airways (India) Ltd, part-owned by Abu Dhabi's Etihad, fell 8.7 percent after the carrier posted a record quarterly loss partly as a result of higher jet fuel expenses and a one-time charge on a unit.
Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd fell 1.4 percent after quarterly earnings at unit Taro Pharmaceutical Industries failed to beat some analyst estimates.
FACTORS TO WATCH
* Euro heads back toward 3-month lows, yuan slides
* Brent holds above $110 as U.S. data boosts growth hopes
* U.S. data, ECB easing bets feed risk appetite
* BSE index gains 0.03 pct; NSE ends 0.16 pct higher
* Jet Airways shares slump after record quarterly loss
* Shipping Corp of India surges after swinging to profit