NSE Nifty was up by 0.51 per cent, or 111.20 points, to 22,068, while the BSE Sensex was at 72,738.51, up by 0.46 per cent, or 334.34 points.

A total of 3,050 stocks were actively traded, 1,277 advanced, 1,670 declined and 103 stocks remained unchanged. 39 stocks hit 52 week high and 27 stocks hit 52 week low at 9.40 am on the BSE.

VK Vijayakumar, Chief Investment Strategist, Geojit Financial Services, said, “The divergence in institutional activity is becoming stark this month. FIIs have turned sustained sellers and DIIs have turned sustained buyers in all trading days of this month, so far, with cumulative FII selling of ₹22,858 crore and cumulative DII buying of ₹16,700 crore. From the data showing sharper declines in the broader market, it appears that HNIs and retail investors have booked some profits and are in a wait and watch mode, perhaps responding to the noise relating to uncertainty regarding the election results.

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“An important point to understand is that FIIs are selling not because of concerns relating to elections but because India is underperforming (Nifty down by 3.5 per cent in last one month) while China and Hong Kong are outperforming (Shanghai Composite and Hang Seng up by 4.19 per cent and 8.61 per cent, respectively in last one month). So long as this ‘Sell India, Buy China’ trade sustains FII selling will weigh on the markets. The situation can change dramatically when clarity emerges on the election outcome. If the election results turn out to be favourable from the market perspective, aggressive buying by DIIs, retail and HNIs can push the market sharply up.”

So, investors can wait for clarity to emerge on the political front. Meanwhile long-term investors can slowly accumulate high quality large-caps, particularly those in banking and automobiles that have delivered good Q4 results, he added.

Major gainers on the NSE include BPCL (3.29 per cent), Axis Bank (2.08 per cent), NTPC (1.98 per cent), ITC (1.93 per cent) and Hero MotoCorp (1.74 per cent). Major losers include Infosys (-1.54 per cent), LTIMindtree (-1.11 per cent), L&T (-0.66 per cent), HCL Tech (-0.36 per cent), Tech Mahindra (-0.35 per cent)

BSE Smallcap was down by 1 per cent and Midcap lost 0.58 per cent.