Indian shares ended marginally higher on Thursday, as gains in energy stocks offset declines in the IT sector, but trade remained lacklustre on the day the first phase of the national election began.
Indians turned out in big numbers to vote in the first phase of a mammoth general election on Thursday, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking a second term after campaigning on his national security record amid tensions with rival Pakistan.
Voting in the first of seven rounds is being held in 91 parliament constituencies across 20 states and federally administered regions. There are 543 seats at stake.
The benchmark BSE Sensex closed up 0.06 percent at 38,607.01, while the broader NSE Nifty ended 0.11 percent higher at 11,596.7.
About 279.7 million shares traded on the NSE Nifty, compared with the 30-day average of 365.5 million shares.
Index heavyweight Reliance Industries Ltd closed 1.2 percent higher, while oil marketers Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd and Indian Oil Corp Ltd ended up 1.1 percent and 0.9 percent, respectively.
Tata Consultancy Services Ltd and Infosys Ltd dropped over 1 percent each. Both will report their March-quarter results on Friday.