Key benchmark indices ended almost unchanged for the day after moving in a narrow range during a special live trading session conducted by the stock exchanges on Saturday.
The market breadth, indicating the overall health of the market, was strong. A special live trading session was held this day -- March 22, 2014 -- as the National Stock Exchange (NSE) was testing its software. Trading started at 11.15 am and ended at 12.45 pm. It was still a lacklustre session marked by low volumes on the bourses and feeble movement on the benchmark indices during the day.
Key benchmark indices moved in a narrow range during the day. The BSE Sensex moved in a 40 points range intra-day before closing flat.
It touched a high of 21,778.92 and a low of 21,725.52 during the day.
The 30-share BSE Sensex trudged marginally, closing almost 2 points higher at 21,755 levels, the 50-unit Nifty remained flat with 2 point uptick to close at at 6495 levels.
Broader markets however outperformed the benchmarks as BSE mid-cap and small-cap indices ended 0.3-0.6 per cent higher as compared to Sensex's flat closing on SaturdayCipla, Sun Pharma, ONGC Bharti Airtel and Mahindra & Mahindra managed to eke out marginal gains, albeit higher than remaining Sensex heavyweights while Hindalco, BHEL, Tata Power were major losers.
Among stocks that made headlines, Federal Bank surged 6 per cent to Rs 91.15 on the BSE after the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said that foreign investors will be allowed to purchase up to 74 per cent stake in the private sector lender.
Cox and Kings rallied over 3 per cent to Rs 162.30, after touching its highest level since April 2012 on the BSE, on back of heavy volumes.
Market breath was positive with advances at 1, 367 shares on the BSE while 910 stocks declined and 114 scrips remained unchanged. The total turnover (cash) was Rs 437 crore on the BSE.