Pharma and IT stocks were back in the limelight as investor attention was focused on defensives. Sun Pharma topped the list of Nifty gainers along with Hero Motor Corp and ITC. Sun Pharma had been falling for the last few days after it recalled one of its drugs in the US.
Technology stocks also saw buying support with TCS and Wipro among the gainers. Metal stocks continued to have a bad day in trade with Tata Steel and Hindalco among the losers.
Among mid caps Havells India saw buying support on reports that the company planned to list Sylvania Laxman.
Tata Motors, Larsen and ONGC were among the heavyweights that declined from the Nifty.
PSU Banking stocks had a bad day in trade with Oriental Bank declining more than 3 per cent, while Union Bank fell more than 2 per cent.
Other notable losers were Bank of India and Bank of Baroda. Maruti Suzuki which initially fell after worries over the outsourcing of manufacturing activities for its Gujarat Plant ended the day with gains.
Unitech was trading up despite reports that LIC was close to seizing its Noida land.
Meanwhile, Asian markets fell sharply following deep cuts witnessed in the Japanese Nikkei and the Seoul Composite.