MUMBAI: The Sensex pulled back from the negative terrain on Tuesday, led by gains in defensives like FMCG, pharmaceuticals and technology stocks.
According to analysts, the benchmarks are likely to consolidate near current levels ahead of F&O expiry and some profit booking can't be ruled out.
"Immediate near-term momentum is undergoing a corrective phase due to the overbought nature, but does not seem to threaten the underlying bullish short-term momentum. Nifty is likely to find support at the 5,650 (21-hourly EMA) / 5,610 cluster, where longs can be re-entered placing reversal below 5,535, targeting 5,750-5,800," said an Edelweiss report.
At 12:50 pm, the 30-share index was at 18,698.39, up 25.05 points or 0.13 per cent. It touched an intraday high of 18,790.01 and a low of 18,636.16 in trade so far.
The Nifty was at 5,676.10, up 6.50 points or 0.11 per cent. The broader index touched a high of 5,702.70 and a low of 5,652.45 in trade so far.
The BSE Midcap Index was up 0.16 per cent and the BSE Smallcap Index gained 0.26 per cent.
Among the sectoral indices, the BSE FMCG Index was up 1.22 per cent, the BSE Healthcare Index gained 0.75 per cent and the BSE IT Index was up 0.41 per cent. The BSE Metal Index was down 1.15 per cent, the BSE Auto Index declined 0.57 per cent and the BSE Bankex slipped 0.28 per cent.
Sensex gainers included CiplaBSE 1.92 % (2.22%), ITC (1.54%), HDFC (1.38%), Hindustan UnileverBSE 1.75 % (1.22%) and TCSBSE 0.46 % (1.07%).
Jindal SteelBSE -4.35 % (2.94%), Tata SteelBSE -1.48 % (1.99%), Sterlite IndustriesBSE -2.31 % (1.49%), Maruti SuzukiBSE -2.42 % (1.49%) and ONGCBSE -1.17 % (0.99%) were the major index losers.
The market breadth was positive on the BSE with 1,307 gainers against 1,291 losers.
The foreign institutional investors bought shares worth Rs 2327.82 crore on Friday as per the provisional data from the National Stock Exchange.
The European markets have opened on a subdued note in line with Asian peers. The FTSE 100 was up 0.04 per cent, the CAC 40 slipped 0.20 per cent and the DAX was 0.16 per cent lower.