The key heavy weight scrips opened high, but soon slipped into red amid volatility ahead of inflation data to be announced by the government at about 1200 noon today. Banking stocks rose, while realty stocks fell. Asian markets were trading mixed. The market breadth was strong due to buying in select mid-cap and small-cap stocks, brokers said. The key benchmark indices in Hong Kong and South Korea, were down between 0.47 per cent and 0.76 per cent. The key benchmark indices in Japan, Singapore and Taiwan were up between 0.32 per cent and 1.13 per cent.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 57.81 points or 0.48 per cent at 12,141.58. The tech-laden Nasdaq Composite Index gained 10.34 points or 0.43 per cent at 2,404.35.
Oil was trading below USD 137 a barrel, close to record highs of USD 139.12, hit on June 6.
Short covering by traders, following improved industrial production data for April 2008 triggered a strong intra-day rebound on the bourses, yesterday.
Later, the 30-share BSE Sensex was down 49.77 points or 0.33 per cent at 15,200.43. At the day's low of 15,162.48, Sensex lost over 60 points in early trade. The day's high was 15,337.10 in the early trade.
The broader based S&P CNX Nifty index of National Stock Exchange (NSE) was down 20.90 points or 0.46 per cent at 4,518.45, from it last close of 4,539.35. It resumed flat at 4,539.50 points, later it recorded the day's high at 4,563.35 and a low at 4,498.05 points.
The market breadth was strong on BSE with 1,011 shares advancing as compared to 694 that declined. 52 remained unchanged. Among the 30 stocks from Sensex pack, 22 were trading in red.
The BSE Mid-Cap index rose by 0.26 per cent to 6,239.89 and BSE Small-Cap index up by 0.69 per cent to 7,577.98. Both these indices outperformed Sensex.
India's largest private sector firm by market capitalisation and oil refinery Reliance Industries was flat at Rs 2,284.50.
Banking stocks rose. India's largest commercial bank State Bank of India was flat at Rs 1,339.50. The asset-liability committee of State Bank of India (SBI), will be reviewing interest rates today following the latest RBI move to raise repo rate.
HDFC Bank was up by 0.12 per cent to Rs 1,164.85 and ICICI Bank rose by 1.95 per cent to Rs 756.80, edged higher. India's largest dedicated housing finance firm by operating income HDFC declined by 0.69 per cent to Rs 2,160.
Realty sector, which had seen some buying in last two days fell today. Indiabulls Real Estate was down by 2.77 per cent to Rs 384, DLF eased by 1.1 per cent to Rs 492.25 and Unitech came down by 0.98 per cent to Rs 186.95, edged lower.