State Bank of India dropped by more than 1 per cent ahead of its results. Tata Motors which is also slated to report numbers later today was down 1 per cent. Nifty stocks that rallied in trade today were NTPC, Hero Motor Corp, ICICI Bank, Cipla and ICICI Bank.
Nifty stocks that lost ground in trade were Jindal Steel, Tata Steel Wipro, Siemens, Hindalco and Jaiprakash Associates.
Realty stocks which dropped sharply on Wednesday saw some buying support with Unitech, DB Realty and Anant Raj bouncing back sharply.
Oil marketing stocks some buyers in trade today after reports of a hike in diesel and petrol prices. BPCL, HPCL and Indian Oil were trading with smart gains.
Coal India also gained after the company's profits grew by 8.85 per cent for the quarter ending December 31, 2012.
NMDC gained 2.62 per cent despite reporting a poor set of quarterly numbers, after reports suggest that the stock will be included in the Nifty from April 1. Wipro on the other hand dropped after reports that the company would be excluded from the Nifty.
Banking stocks were trading lower ahead of numbers from State Bank of India and inflation data. Banking stocks that lost ground in trade were Punjab National Bank, Canara Bank, Indian Overseas Bank and Idbi Bank.
Meanwhile, markets in Asia were trading higher following strong gains in the Hong Kong and the Japanese markets.
Indian markets are expected to track global cues until the budget, which should then determine the short term direction of the markets.