Snapping a two-day losing trend, the BSE benchmark Sensex today closed 19.25 points higher on buying in capital goods, auto and power stocks in a choppy session ahead of the monthly derivative contract expiry on Thursday.
After losing 746 points in last two sessions and a lower start even today, the Sensex managed to close higher by 19.25 points, or 0.10 per cent, at 19,920.21.
The 30-share gauge touched a low of 19,782.78 as banking stocks continued to remain under pressure after rating agency Moody's downgraded the senior unsecured debt and local currency deposit rating of the country's largest bank, SBI.
The market mood was clearly choppy with participants indulging in portfolio churning ahead of the monthly derivative contract expiry, broker said.
Among index components, 14 stocks closed with gains while 16 ended lower. The Sensex found good support from HDFC, L&T, Bajaj Auto, M&M, Tata Motors, NTPC, Tata Power and Cipla.
The domestic market had slumped 3.6 per cent in the past two days as the Reserve Bank of India surprisingly raised the repurchase rate last week for the first time in two years, raising fears of more rate hikes from the central bank.
The broad-based National Stock Exchange index Nifty improved by 2.70 points, or 0.05 per cent to 5,892.45, after moving between 5,938.40 and 5,854.55 intra-day.
Sectorally, the BSE Auto sector index gained the most by rising 1.05 per cent, followed by capital goods index (1.05 per cent), Power index (0.78 per cent) and Consumer durable index (0.23 per cent).