In choppy trade, BSE Sensex today closed about 7 points higher as investors adopted a cautious stance ahead of the monthly settlement in the equity derivatives segment.
The BSE Sensex, which had retreated from record closing yesterday, recovered marginally by 6.58 points, or 0.03 per cent, to end at 24,556.09. Intra-day, it moved between 24,643.33 and 24,488.81.
Similarly, the 50-scrip NSE Nifty recovered 11.65 points, or 0.16 per cent, to end at 7,329.65 after touching day's high of 7,344.75. Intra-day, it hit a low of 7,302.60.
"In coming sessions, 7350 shall be crucial deciding level in near term, and index is likely to witness further buying above this level," said Rakesh Goyal, Senior Vice President, Bonanza Portfolio.
Brokers said investors who had been buying aggressively in the past few sessions turned cautious at prevailing levels amid tomorrow's monthly expiry in futures and options.
There is also a concern that the 10 per cent rally this month so far has made markets a tad expensive, they added.
Selling was more confined to recent outperformers like Infosys, Tata Consultancy, ICICI Bank, GAIL India, HDFC, State Bank of India, BHEL, Maruti and L&T.
In 30-share Sensex, 16 stocks gained, while 14 declined led by Coal India, Bajaj Auto, M&M and NTPC.
Sectors which gained in today's trade include capital goods, realty, IT, teck and banking.
Cement sector stocks witnessed a fresh spell of buying with Ultratech up 5.97 per cent, Ambuja Cement 5.71 per cent, Shree Cements 2.99 per cent and ACC 4.35 per cent.
Sectorally, the BSE IT sector index gained the most (1.52 per cent), followed by Teck index (1.42 per cent), Realty index (1.40 per cent), Banking index (0.56 per cent) and Capital Goods index (0.45 per cent).
On the other hand, BSE Small-cap index closed 1.63 per cent higher at 9,028.82 and BSE Mid-cap index by 0.40 per cent to 8,463.09 points.
Indian shares edge higher; May derivatives expiry in focus
(Reuters) - Indian shares edged up on Wednesday as cement stocks such as UltraTech Cement rose on value buying, but broader gains were capped as foreign investors turned modest sellers while caution also prevails ahead of the expiry of May derivatives.
Overseas investors sold shares worth 2.03 billion rupees ($34.4 million) on Tuesday, their third session of selling in four, provisional exchange