The benchmark indices were range bound for most part of the day in the absence of global cues, domestic data points and major earnings announcements. However, markets closed near the day's high, which will be seen as a positive.
Global markets were lacklustre. European stocks traded flat at 4 p.m., recovering from the day's low. Earlier, Japan's Nikkei index closed nearly unchanged after second quarter GDP grew at a slower than expected pace.
33 of the 50 stocks closed higher on the Nifty index. Mortgage major HDFC, India's biggest realty firm DLF, and Anil Ambani-promoted Reliance Infra were the top gainers, rising 3-4 per cent. Vedanta Group miners Sterlite Industries and Sesa Goa also gained 2-3 per cent.
Earnings continued to drive individual stocks even as the results season is coming to an end. Commercial vehicles major Tata Motors was the top Nifty loser, down 1.6 per cent. The company had reported its June quarter numbers last week, which left the Street disappointed.
Tata Steel (down 1.2 per cent) and Coal India (down 0.3 per cent) closed lower ahead of reporting June quarter earnings. However, SBI managed to gain 1 per cent. Shares in the country's largest bank had fallen nearly 9 per in the previous two sessions on the back of rise in bad loans in the April to June quarter.
Among other stocks, debt laden carrier Kingfisher Airlines was locked up 20 per cent despite widening of losses in the June quarter. Quarterly losses were lower on a sequential basis on the back of curtailed operations.
Other UB group companies, promoted by Vijay Mallya who is also the chairman of Kingfisher Airlines, also saw buying interest. UB Holding gained 10 per cent while United Spirits rose 12 per cent.
Wind turbine maker Suzlon gained 2.6 per cent ahead of reporting numbers later today.
The market breadth was positive with 61 per cent stocks rising on the broader BSE 500 index.