Key benchmark indices ended the day marginally higher amid volatile trade, with the Sensex closing 37 points up at 17,463. The Nifty added 15 points to end the day at 5,302. Banking and metal stocks led the gains.
Meanwhile, the broader market managed to hold on to its gains with the midcap and the smallcap indices up 0.8% each as compared to the Sensex up 0.2%.
The country's services sector in June expanded for the eighth straight month although at a slower clip, but new orders picked up and firms hired workers at the fastest pace in a year, a business survey showed on Wednesday. HSBC's services purchasing managers' index, which gauges the activity of around 400 firms in India, dropped to 54.3 in June from 54.7 in May. However, it has kept above the 50 mark that signifies growth since November.
In the Asian markets, except Hang Seng and Shanghai Composite all the other markets ended in the green. Japan's Nikkei share average advanced 0.4% to close at a two-month high on Wednesday, driven by energy and resource companies following a rise in oil prices and bolstered by improved risk appetite amid expectations that central banks will act to support flagging global growth.
However, European shares edged back from two-month highs on Wednesday after three days of gains made on hopes of more monetary stimulus from central banks and progress made in dealing with the euro zone debt crisis.CAC, DAX and FTSE lost 0.2-0.6%.
Back home, among the sectoral indices, Metal index gained 2% as shares of metal and mining companies such as Sesa Goa, Sterlite Industries, JSW Steel, Jindal Steel and Power and Kalyani Steels rallied on reports that the government may lift ore mining ban in Karnataka this month. The ones leading the gains were Sterlite Industries, JSW Steel, and Sesa Goa up 4-5%.
Realty, Consumer Durables, Capital Goods and Power index which added between 0.6-2% were the other top sectoral gainers. On the other hand, Oil & Gas, FMCG and IT indices closed in the negative zone, losing 0.4-0.6%
The top gainers among the Sensex stocks were Maruti Suzuki, Bharti Airtel, SBI, Bajaj Auto and L&T up 1-2.5%
On the losing side were ONGC, Dr Reddys Lab, Wipro, Hindustan Unilever and Coal India down 1-2%.
Among other stocks, Idea Cellular soared 6% to Rs 86.50, extending its Tuesday’s 5.4% rally on reports that the company along with other GSM operators, Bharti Airtel and Vodafone said that they will continue to offer third generation services on a pan-India basis, after the Telecom Disputes Settlement Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) reported a split verdict on the 3G roaming case.
3i Infotech surged 9% at Rs 12.18, extending its past four days rally, after allotting 225.9 million shares to lenders under its corporate debt restructuring (CDR) package at Rs 19.74 per share.
The market breadth was positive on the BSE. 1771 stocks advanced while 1121 stocks declined.