Domestic stock markets swung between gains and losses on Thursday amid cautious note ahead of the expiry of monthly derivatives contracts, and tracking weakness in Asian peers. The S&P BSE Sensex rose as much as 73.91 points to 39,128.59 and the NSE Nifty moved to 11,756.65, up 30.5 points from the previous close. Strength in select counters such as Yes Bank pushed the indexes higher while weakness in auto stocks offset advances in fast-moving consumer goods and pharma counters. The markets moved in a tight range in early deals a day after the indexes snapped a three-day fall to finish 1.3 per cent higher each.
At 9:47 am, the Sensex traded 3.98 points higher at 39,058.66, while the Nifty was up 11.35 points at 11,737.50.
UltraTech Cement, Yes Bank, Grasim and Bharat Petroleum stocks - trading between 1.40 per cent and 2.97 per cent higher - were the top gainers on the 50-scrip index at the time. On the other hand, the top Nifty laggards were Bharti Infratel, Maruti Suzuki India, Bajaj Auto and ONGC, trading between 0.89 and per cent and 2.90 per cent lower.
Analysts say caution prevailed ahead of the futures & options expiry. The derivatives contracts for the month of April will expire at the end of the session.
Meanwhile, Maruti Suzuki, Tata Steel and Axis Bank are due to report their earnings for the quarter ended March 31 later in the day.
Equities in other Asian markets slipped as a surprise deterioration in German business morale rekindled fears of slowing global growth, while oil prices pulled back slightly after a sharp run-up earlier in the week. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan eased 0.2 per cent, while Japan's Nikkei average edged up 0.3 per cent.
The euro slumped to a 22-month low against the dollar overnight after the drop in German business confidence highlighted the divergence between data in the euro zone and the United States.
(With inputs from Reuters)
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