The broader 50-share S&P CNX Nifty gained 24.55 points to settle the day at 1,618.70. The July 2004 futures contract ended at 1,614.85, discount of 3.85 points to the Nifty spot.
The Sensex opened with a positive gap of 12.32 points, however, due to selling in the mid-morning trades, the markets slipped into the red to touch a low of 5,051.49 at 11:00 IST. Thereafter, the Sensex moved in a narrow range. Buying in last half-an-hour in counters like Tata Steel, HLL, Wipro, Infosys Technologies, Indian Oil, ITC, HPCL, BPCL and ONGC from market participants, who covered their short position in the futures following the expiry of the July 2004 futures contract lifted the BSE Sensex above the 5,100-mark. The 30-share BSE Sensex ended 50.16 points higher at 5,120.45. The benchmark index has shed 47.88 points in the last two sessions, after gaining 160.29 points in the previous four sessions.
Volumes on the BSE also picked up in the last half-an-hour, which saw turnover rising over Rs 400 crore from Rs 1,580 crore at 15:00 IST to Rs 1,988 crore at 15:30 IST. On Thursday, the combine turnover recorded on the BSE and the NSE was at Rs 7,082.36 crore as compared to Wednesdays turnover of Rs 6,274.69 crore. Meanwhile, gainers outperformed the losers. Of the total 1,913 shares traded on the BSE, 1,080 shares traded in the positive zone, while 740 stocks ended in the red. 93 stocks remained unchanged.
Despite upmove in the market on Thursday, there was caution in the market. Paras Adenwala, head of equity, Birla Sun Life AMC, said: Rising international crude oil prices is the biggest worry in the market. The Nymex crude oil is currently trading at an 21-year high at $42.90 per barrel. The rise in crude oil is expected to increase inflationary pressure, which is expected to even hamper the corporate performance. The rising crude oil prices witnessed fresh buying in ONGC, which rose 3.45 per cent to Rs 707.45. Meanwhile, the rise in oil price witnessed Re slipping against dollars. On Thursday, the Indian currency against the greenback lost 0.15 paise to settle at Rs 46.47/48/$.