The broader 50-share S&P CNX Nifty gained 15.05 points to end at 1,610.75.
The combined turnover on the BSE and the NSE were recorded at Rs 6,113 crore as compared to Wednesdays Rs 6,680.05 crore. The breadth of the market was positive with gainers outperforming the losers nearly in the ratio of 2:1. However, FIIs continued to remain net sellers, selling equities worth Rs 105.10 crore on Wednesday as compared to Tuesday net outflows of Rs 54.30 crore.
Following easing of oil prices, the BSE Index opened on a positive note at 5,105.38, up 16.82 points (incidentally the intra-day low). Thereafter, due to short covering ahead of the futures expiry and passage of the Finance Bill, the market moved higher to touch an intra-day high of 5,145.60, before closing at 5,135.45. The NYMEX crude oil was trading at $43.62 a barrel as supply fears eased. Oil prices have been recovering over the last four straight sessions, after hitting an all-time high of $49.40 a barrel last Thursday.
Meanwhile, Thursday was the last day of the August 2004 futures contract, which witnessed substantial amount of positions in the F&O segment being rolled over in the last two trading sessions to the next-month series, however, the rolled-over contract was lower than that of the previous month, indicating cautiousness in the market, said dealers. Both Nifty futures and spot ended at similar levels. Gurunath Mudlapur, head of research, Khandwala Securities, said: Short-covering ahead of the contract expiry, easing oil prices and the passage of the Finance Bill helped the market to gain ground.
However, from the current levels, the market is not expected to witness major upmove as players are awaiting for directions. With sustained strikes in the country, business is getting affected, if this is not resolved at the earliest, then corporate earnings will get affected, said Mr Mudlapur. Truckers strike continued for the sixth day. The strike threatened to stoke domestic inflation, already nearing 8 per cent.