The benchmark indices have surrendered most of their morning gains on account of profit-booking post the rally witnessed in the past two sessions. The Sensex had been on a tearaway rally since the past two days, gaining 635 points in the previous session and 335 pointsat its intra-day high of41,775.11 registered this morning.
At 2.30 pm, the BSE Sensex had shaved off 270 points from its intra-day highs of 41,775 to trade at 41,505, higher by 45 points or 0.1 per cent, and the Nifty was quoting at 12,226, up 10 points, after touching a life-time high of 12,311. The broader markets were outperforming the benchmark indices, with the BSE midcap and Smallcap indices adding 0.3 per cent each at 15,156 and 14,140 respectively.
On the corporate results front, The Supreme Court on Friday stayed the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT)'s order to reinstate Cyrus Mistry as chairman of Tata Sons. The development comes roughly a week after Tata Sons approached the Supreme Court challenging the restoration of Cyrus Mistry as the executive chairman of the group by the company law tribunal in December.
Infosys, the country's second-largest software services provider, will kick off the Q3 earnings season by announcing its results later in the day.
In the auto sector, the total passenger car sales in the domestic market fell 8.4 per cent in December, data from industry body SIAM or Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers showed. Auto stocks were trading largely in the green. Maruti Suzuki, M&M, Hero Motocorp and Baja Auto were trading higher by about half a per cent each; Tata Motors and Ashok Leyland had, howeverm registered marginal losses.
Banking stocks were dragging the markets lower. Index heavweights, ICICI Bank, Axis Bank and IndusInd Bank had weakened around 1 per cent each. In the midcap banking space, Yes Bank, RBL and Federal Bank had also shed between 1 per cent and 4 per cent each.
On the other hand, Infosys was the top percentage gainer on the BSE; the stock of the IT bellweather gained by 1.6 per cent at Rs 739 ahead of its Q3 numbers scheduled to be announced later in the day. NTPC, Sun Pharma and ITC were the other significant gainers, adding up to 1 per cent each.
The market breadth was positive. Out of 2613 stocks traded on the BSE, there were 1352 advancing stocks as against 1083 declines.