The BSE Sensex rose on Wednesday but trading was choppy with investors cautious ahead of quarterly results that are expected to mostly show slower earnings growth.
By 10:37 a.m. (0507 GMT), the benchmark 30-share BSE index was up 0.17 percent at 16,193.24 after falling into negative territory at one stage, a day after rallying more than 2 percent. Fourteen of its components rose.
Software bellwether Infosys (INFY.NS), which analysts expect to report on Thursday a 30 percent rise in December quarter profit, rose 1 percent. Bigger rival Tata Consultancy Services (TCS.NS) was up 0.3 percent.
India's showcase $76-billion software services sector, which gets majority of its revenue from overseas, are likely to benefit from the rupee's depreciation but concerns due to economic troubles in the developed world remain.
Retailers rallied after the government formally eliminated restrictions on foreign investment in single-brand retail sector on Tuesday, raising hopes rules for multi-brand retail could also be liberalised soon.
This is probably an indication that government is finally moving on the policy front. And this is quite positive for the broader market, said D.D. Sharma, CEO at Risk Capital Adviser.
Pantaloon Retail (PART.NS), which has been in talks with foreign retailers for tie-ups, rose 8.7 percent, while departmental store chain Shoppers Stop (SHOP.NS) was up 9.3 percent.
Private-sector lender ICICI Bank (ICBK.NS) rose 1.8 percent and State Bank of India (SBI.NS) firmed 0.47 percent.
But utility vehicle maker Mahindra and Mahindra (MAHM.NS) fell 2 percent, tobacco-to-leisure company ITC (ITC.NS) shed 0.5 percent and mobile operator Bharti Airtel (BRTI.NS) was down 0.9 percent.
It's a day of consolidation for the market after the sharp rally yesterday. There is some profit-taking, Sharma said.
The 50-share NSE index was up 0.19 percent at 4,858.60. In the broader market, there were about 3 gainers for every loser on volume of 171 million shares.
MSCI's broadest index of Asia Pacific shares outside Japan inched up 0.06 percent, retreating on profit taking after earlier hitting its highest since December 9.
STOCKS ON THE MOVE
* Suzlon Energy Ltd (SUZL.NS) rose as much as 3.3 percent after the company said its Brazilian unit got order to set up, operate and maintain a 24 megawatt wind power project.
* Educomp Solutions (EDSO.NS) rose as much as 1.7 percent after website VCCircle said that Pearson Plc, the world's largest education service provider and one of the leading media groups, is in advanced talks to buy the company's 50 percent stake in Indiacan, their joint venture vocational education company.
TOP 3 BY VOLUME
* DLF (DLF.NS) with 13.7 million shares
* Suzlon Energy (SUZL.NS) with 10.6 million shares
* K S Oil (KSOI.NS) with 5.6 million shares