The pharma and banking stocks have made sure the benchmark BSE Sensex kept its winning run going for the sixth session on Thursday, even as investors turned wary because of a spike in inflation and subdued Chinese economic data.
The Chinese knock-on effect led to Asian and European shares turning lower.
Wholesale inflation set off some caution, which rose to a four-month high of 3.24 per cent in August, compared with 1.88 per cent in July, driven by higher prices of food articles.
Official data showed that Chinese industrial output and retail sales all slowed for the second consecutive month.
The 30-share barometer closed at 32,241.93, a gain of 55.52 points, or 0.17 per cent, the highest closing since August 7 when it had ended at 32,273.67. It moved between 32,328.61 and 32,186.84 during the day. The gauge had risen 524 points in the previous five sessions.
The broader Nifty closed flat, up 7.30 points, or 0.07 per cent, at 10,086.60 in a volatile trade. It shuttled between 10,126.50 and 10,070.35 during the day’s trade.
“Despite opening on a robust note, the benchmark indices in India gave up most of their gains during late morning trade and continued to hover in a narrow range near the flat line for the rest of the day. Stocks across the globe traded mixed as disappointing economic data out of China and India impacted investor sentiment," said Karthikraj Lakshmanan, senior fund manager (equities), BNP Paribas Mutual Fund.
The silver lining was persistent capital inflows by domestic institutional investors (DII) and retail investors that kept the sunny side up, traders said.
Sun Pharmaceutical Industries took the top spot among the Sensex firms, up 4.24 per cent at Rs 524.25, followed by Axis Bank (4.20 per cent). Other big movers include Tata Motors, Adani Ports, Cipla and Dr Reddy’s Laboratories, surging up to 3.62 per cent.
Losses in Wipro, Kotak Bank, Oil & Natural Gas Corporation, Mahindra & Mahindra, Bharti Airtel came as overhang, falling by up to 4.10 per cent.
The healthcare index was in the thick of action as it rose 2.11 per cent, followed by power and banking.
Foreign portfolio investors remained in the selling mode, offloading shares worth Rs 826.77 crore on Wednesday, according to provisional numbers. DIIs bought shares worth a net Rs 725.90 crore.
Stocks of state-run oil market companies such as Hindustan Petroleum Corporation, Bharat Petroleum Corporation and Indian Oil Corporation, which rallied over five per cent in early trade, finally settled with gains up to 0.90 per cent after Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan ruled out any intervention to disrupt daily revision in petrol and diesel prices.
Reliance Communications fell 1.15 per cent after equipment maker Ericsson filed a petition against the company under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code for recovery of Rs 1,155 crore.
The small-cap and mid-cap indices firmed up by 0.64 per cent and 0.57 per cent, respectively.