MUMBAI The BSE Sensex rose on Wednesday to mark its first daily gain this year, snapping a five-session losing run, as exporters such as Tata Consultancy services rose on hopes about their earnings, while Coal India surged on its interim dividend plan.
Higher global markets, including European shares pushed higher by solid German exports, also helped domestic indexes recover after posting their weakest start to the year since 2011, as of Tuesday.
However, gains were limited by concerns over recent foreign investors sales and the start of the corporate earnings reporting season. India is also due to post key inflation data next week.
Overseas investors sold a total of 23.34 billion rupees worth of index futures and 8.39 billion rupees worth of cash shares over the previous three sessions after their $20 billion worth of net purchases last year helped boost domestic shares.
"Markets are expected to remain in a narrow range considering December quarter earnings and inflation are lined up in the coming sessions," said Deven Choksey, managing director at K R Choksey Securities.
Mid-cap stocks may continue to see better action than large-caps in the coming few weeks, he added.
The benchmark BSE Sensex rose 0.17 percent, or 36.14 points, to end at 20,729.38, snapping a 2.3 percent over fall over the previous five sessions.
The broader Nifty gained 0.2 percent, or 12.35 points, to end at 6,174.60, but still approaching 6,100, which has been a key technical support five times since January 2013.
Export-driven IT and pharmaceutical shares gained on expectations a weaker rupee and healthier overseas markets will boost earnings.
Tata Consultancy Services Ltd (TCS.NS) rose 1.2 percent while Tech Mahindra Ltd (TEML.NS) ended 2 percent higher.
Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd (SUN.NS) ended 1.1 percent higher, Cipla Ltd (CIPL.NS) rose 3.4 percent while Dr. Reddy's Laboratories Ltd (REDY.NS) gained 1.7 percent.
Cadila Healthcare Ltd (CADI.NS) surged 5 percent after Bank of America-Merrill Lynch upgraded the stock to "buy" from "underperform", saying the worst is behind and earnings will accelerate from fiscal 2015.
Coal India Ltd (COAL.NS) shares jumped 4.9 percent after the company said its board will meet on January 14 to consider payment of interim dividend.
Shares in mid-cap software services company Mastek Ltd (MAST.NS) rose 9.1 percent after earlier rising to their highest since December 2010 ahead of a board meeting later in the day that will consider a buyback of shares.
Mastek shares have rallied about 24 percent since Friday, after the announcement of the board meeting.
However, its bigger peer Infosys fell 0.8 percent on caution ahead of its Oct-Dec earnings on Friday.
Aggregate net profit for the 30 constituents of the benchmark BSE Sensex is expected to grow by 13 percent and revenue by 12.5 percent for the October-December quarter, according to a median estimate of 10 brokerages.
(Editing by Sunil Nair)