Thursday, the Indian market opened on a strong note, but it couldn't sustain its initial gains. While the BSE Sensex showed a modest rise of 0.67% for the day, extending its upward trend for the sixth straight day, the S&P CNX Nifty closed almost flat in negative territory.

The market saw extreme volatility on alternate bouts of buying and selling. Resumption of buying by foreign funds, an overnight rally on Wall Street and a firm trend in the rest of the Asian markets improved sentiment, but profit taking ahead of the extended weekend, a dismal IIP report and apprehensions over the quality of earnings for the March quarter weighed on the market.

That said, the broader market closed stronger. The broad-based BSE 500 index moved up 0.78% and the small-cap and the mid-cap indexes rose around 1.70% each, outperforming the benchmarks. On the BSE, the market breadth was extremely positive, with advancers outnumbering decliners by 1780 to 792.

Sector wise, realty, metal and banking stocks closed firm, but FMCG and auto stocks cane under selling pressure.

After trading choppily in a range of 10,932-10,656, the BSE Sensex finished at 10,804, up 62 points or 0.57% over the previous close. On the other hand, the S&P CNX Nifty closed flat at 3,342, down 0.03%.

Among the major gainers, Tata Steel and Jaiprakash Associates jumped more than 7% each, Reliance Infrastructure and ICICI Bank soared around 5.6% each, DLF rallied 4.83%, Sterlite Industries advanced 3.15% and Larsen & Toubro gained 2.76%.

Grasim Industries, State Bank of India, Tata Motors, Ranbaxy Laboratories and Sun Pharma were the other top gainers.

However, Hindustan Unilever fell 3.26%, Mahindra & Mahindra declined 3.15% and Wipro moved down 2.80%. ONGC, NTPC, BHEL, ITC, Maruti Suzuki, Reliance Communication, ACC, HDFC and TCS also ended in the red.

Bajaj Electricals rose 3.21% on saying that is expects better margins in the fourth quarter of FY09 on the back of falling raw material prices particularly copper and aluminum.

Tata Motors moved up 1.28% as bookings for the much-awaited world's cheapest car 'Nano' commenced on Thursday. Maytas Infra jumped nearly 5% after the government named K Ramalingam, the former chairman of the Airports Authority of India, as the chairman and director of the firm.

Suven Life Sciences was locked at the 20% upper circuit limit after the company said that is has completed the phase I multiple ascending dose study of SUVN-502 molecule for Alzheimer's disease.

Bhagyanagar India zoomed nearly 18% ahead of a board meeting on Thursday to consider buyback of its own equity shares. Jet Airways rallied 5.62% despite reports about Sahara Commercial Corporation filing an application in the Bombay High Court for an alleged breach of contract by Jet in the takeover deal.

Usha Martin gained 4.56% on reports the European Union has lowered the duty on steel ropes made by the Indian manufacturer to zero Mastek surged up 10.65% ahead of its quarterly earnings announcement later in the day.

Sun TV Network closed up 0.11% on saying that its channels 'Kushi TV' and 'Chintu TV' will be on air as kids' channels in Telugu and Kannada languages respectively from April 12, Lupin fell 1.03% but Natco Pharma climbed nearly 15% after they have announced an alliance to jointly commercialize generic equivalents of Lanthanum Carbonate tablets.

Sugar stocks continued their uptrend for the second straight session as sugar futures gained on reports about a downward revision in the output estimate due to adverse weather conditions in the growing areas.

Reliance Industrial Infrastructure topped the traded value with a turnover of Rs.404.30 crore followed by Reliance (Rs.288.55 crore), Reliance Infrastructure (Rs.247.20 crore), ICICI Bank (Rs.237.45 crore) and Reliance Capital (Rs.227.15 crore).

Unitech topped the traded volume with trades of around 3.40 crore shares followed by Satyam (2.40 crore), Reliance Natural Resources (2.20 crore), Cals Refineries (2.19 crore) and Suzlon (1.58 crore).

Industrial output data for February and inflation report came in line with market expectations. India's industrial output contracted to a 15-year record low of 1.2% in February compared to a 9.5% expansion in the same month a year ago, data released by the government showed.

Manufacturing, constituting around 80 per cent in the index of industrial production, declined 1.4 % in February compared to 9.6% growth a year ago. However, analysts see a positive trend coming back as the government revised upwards the January IIP to a positive 0.4% from a provisional negative 0.5%.

On the other hand, the inflation rate rose 0.26% in the 12 months to March 28, slightly below the previous week's annual rise of 0.31%. The annual inflation rate was 7.75% in the corresponding week last year.

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