The equity benchmarks staged a strong recovery from intraday lows and snapped their two-day losing streak as late buying in Reliance Industries, HDFC Bank, Bajaj Finance, Hindustan Unilever and Infosys helped negate selling pressure in State Bank of India, Mahindra & Mahindra, NTPC and ONGC. The Sensex recovered over 850 points from the lows of the day and Nifty reclaimed its important psychological level of 15,650 after hitting an intraday low of 15,450.90 earlier in the session.
The Sensex advanced 21 points to close at 52,344 and Nifty 50 index declined 8 points to settle at 15,683.
Seven of 11 sector gauges compiled by the National Stock Exchange ended lower. Nifty Bank staged a strong recovery from intraday lows as the index recovered 878 points from the day's lowest level. FMCG, Financial Services, and Private Bank indices also closed with a positive bias.
On the other hand, auto, IT, media, pharma and metal stocks faced selling pressure.
Mid- and small-cap shares underperformed their larger peers as Nifty Midcap 100 index fell 1 per cent and Nifty Smallcap 100 index slipped 0.8 per cent.
On the stock-specific front, Adani Ports saw short-covering after the hammering received through the week; the stock gained 7.39 per cent to Rs 694.60 to top the gainers list on the NSE. Bajaj Auto, Hindustan Unilever and Bharti Airtel also gained 1-3 per cent each on the NSE.
On the other hand, ONGC, Coal India, JSW Steel and NTPC lost around 3 per cent each on the NSE.
The market breadth was weak. Out of 2,260 stocks traded on the NSE, there were 620 advancing stocks as against 1,327 declines.