Indian shares ended slightly higher on Thursday, helped by gains in information technology stocks, even as global markets rallied on the back of optimism induced by the U.S. Federal Reserve.
The NSE Nifty 50 index ended up 0.16% at 17,248.40, while the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex rose 0.2% to 57,901.14. Though the indexes gave up most of the early gains, they managed to close up for the first time in five sessions.
Fed Chairman Jerome Powell said in a news conference after the conclusion of the two-day policy meeting that "the economy no longer needs increasing amounts of policy support."
"The Fed's move has boosted global markets. But, the selling by foreign investors continues and is not compensated by retail buying," said Vinod Nair, Head of Research at Geojit Financial Services.
The Nifty information technology services index was the top gainer, rising 1.2%, while the public sector bank index fell 0.95%.
On the technical front, Nifty is having good support at around 17,200 levels and is witnessing buying strength at those levels, said Sachin Gupta, analyst with Choice Broking
India's blue-chip indexes have declined more than 7% from record highs hit in October.
Among individual stocks, chemical manufacturer Gujarat Fluorochemicals fell as much as 11.8% after local media reported an explosion inside the company's plant, causing at least two deaths.
Shares of automotive air conditioning parts maker Subros rose 4.5% after it got an order from the Indian Railways.
Meanwhile, world stocks marched back towards record highs as traders waited to see if Europe's top central banks, the ECB and Bank of England, would match the U.S. Federal Reserve's upbeat message and cut stimulus. [MKTS/GLOB]