Markets ended flat today with the broader markets outperforming the benchmark indices on bargain hunting by investors in select mid-cap and small-cap shares. The Sensex ended up 21 points at 17,257 and Nifty gained 12 points to settle at 5,241.
The BSE Mid-cap index ended nearly 1% higher while the Small-cap index gained 1.1%.
The markets were volatile in a narrow range, owing to selling pressure in IT and metal shares. A drop in India's export figures as well as soft cues from global peers played spoilt-sport with investor sentiments.
Asian markets were mostly in red with Nikkei shedding 0.6% to 8,642, while Kospi and Taiwan dropped marginally. However, Shanghai Composite index jumped 1% to 2,123 on stimulus hopes and reports of share buybacks.
India's exports fell 5.45 percent to $25.1 billion in June, while imports fell 13.46 percent to $35.4 billion, leaving a trade deficit of $10.3 billion, government data showed on Wednesday.
After recording strong growth for much of last year, India's overseas sales have tanked, with officials blaming weak demand in the United States and Europe for the fall.
BSE metal index shed 0.7% at 10,405, mirroring movement in the London Metal Exchange. Oil & gas and IT indices slid 0.3% each. Meanwhile, BSE healthcare index added 1.3% to 7,236. Capital goods, realty and power indices were up around 1% each.
Cipla added 4.4% at Rs 353. The company's Q1FY13 net profit was up at Rs 400.7 cr versus Rs 253 cr, YoY. Its net sales were up at Rs 1917.4 cr versus Rs 1591 cr, YoY.
BHEL added 2%, followed by Tata Power, SBI and HDFC.
Meanwhile, Coal India slipped 2.7% at Rs 350 on reports that the board of the State-owned company has decided to revise the contentious penalty clause in the fuel supply agreements (FSAs) to be signed with the power firms. CIL has also agreed to supply at least 80% of the required fuel to power firms.
IT, auto and metal stocks remained under pressure after Tuesday's monetary policy review by the RBI. Hero MotoCorp shed 1.7% at Rs 1,972. ONGC, TCS, Tata Steel and Sterlite slipped 1% each.
Bharti Airtel dipped 0.8% at Rs 298 on reports that the company is exploring issuing new shares to raise funds, including external commercial borrowings.
"Bharti is a counter where we have seen shorts buliding pushing the price below 300 forcing traders holding longs to unwind their positions. This coupled with Call writers becoming active at 300 strike make us believe that this counter has very imited upside and become a perfect SELL/UNDERPERFORM candidate," said Shshank Mehta, Derivatives Strategist, Shah Investor's Home Ltd.
Among individual shares, Deccan Chronicle Holdings (DCHL) extended losses and was locked in 10% lower circuit at Rs 13.95, continuing at its downward march, falling almost 50% in past nine trading sessions on the back of slew of negative developments at the company.
IDBI Bank shares fell 1.5% to Rs 86.60, a day after the public sector lender posted a lower-than-expected April-June net profit of 7.71 billion Indian rupees.
PVR Limited soared 13% TO Rs 185 after the media company said its board approved plans to raise up to Rs 100 crore for expansion, by issuing equity shares to L Capital Eco at a premium on preferential basis.
BSE market breadth was positive. Out of 2,956 stocks traded, 1,723 shares advanced while 1,105 shares declined.