Here are 10 things to know about the stock markets (Sensex and Nifty) today:
Thirty four stocks on the 50-scrip benchmark index traded higher at the time. Top percentage gainers were Yes Bank, Indian Oil, Larsen & Tobro, Tata Motors and Bharat Petroleum, trading between 2.11 per cent and 5.72 per cent higher. On the other hand, Zee Entertainment, UPL, Power Grid, Tech Mahindra and Asian Paints - down between 0.93 per cent and 6.31 per cent - were the top Nifty laggards.
ICICI Bank, Infosys, Larsen & Toubro and Axis Bank were the top contributors to the gain in Sensex, together accounting for a rise of nearly 150 points in the index.
On Wednesday, Axis Bank reported a 4.53 per cent rise in net profit to Rs 1,757 crore for the quarter ended December 30, boosted by lower provisioning for bad loans as its asset quality remained stable.
Analysts say the markets are likely to remain volatile until the government presents the Union Budget on February 1, when it may also unveil more measures to lift growth.
"There is value-buying at lower levels due to the recent correction," said AK Prabhakar, head of research at IDBI Capital. "A few stocks have corrected more than the market, and they offer attractive entry points."
Equities in Asian markets fell on Thursday as investors remained anxious about the spread of a new flu-like virus in China just as millions prepared to travel for the Lunar New Year. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was last seen trading 0.45 per cent lower while Japan's Nikkei stock index was down 0.6 per cent. US stock futures in Asia fell 0.02 per cent.
On Wednesday, the S&P BSE Sensex index declined 208.43 points - or 0.50 per cent - to end at 41,115.38 and the broader NSE Nifty benchmark settled at 12,106.90, down 62.95 points - or 0.52 per cent - from its previous close.
That marked a third straight day of losses for the benchmark indices, a period in which the Sensex lost 829.99 points or 1.98 per cent.
Analysts also awaited financial results by large cap companies for cues in the near term. Bank of Baroda, JSW Steel, UltraTech Cement and ICICI Bank will report their earnings for the quarter ended December 31 this week.