Key barometers were trading with small gains in early afternoon trade. At 12:15 IST, the barometer index, the S&P BSE Sensex, was up 75.34 points or 0.19% at 39,510.28. The Nifty 50 index was up 21.05 points or 0.18% at 11,817.50.
The broader market outperformed the Sensex. The S&P BSE Mid-Cap index was up 0.97%. The S&P BSE Small-Cap index was up 0.43%.
The market breadth, indicating the overall health of the market, was positive. On the BSE, 1217 shares rose and 901 shares fell. A total of 131 shares were unchanged.
Investors were cautious ahead of a key US-India meeting later in the day. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo arrived New Delhi on Tuesday night on his three-day visit to the country to strengthen strategic ties between the two nations. Pompeo will meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Minister of External Affairs Subrahmanyam Jaishankar on Wednesday to discuss agenda for the US-India strategic partnership. He will also deliver a speech on the future of the relationship and opportunities for cooperation on global issues of shared concern.
Investors also remained on the sidelines ahead of the release of the full-blown union budget next week and the upcoming meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping. Trading in the domestic equity market was volatile as June 2019 derivative contracts expire on Thursday, 27 June 2019.
Metal stocks were trading higher. Hindustan Zinc (up 0.78%), Jindal Steel & Power (up 0.66%), National Aluminium Company (up 0.51%), NMDC (up 0.45%), Steel Authority of India (up 0.4%), Hindalco Industries (up 0.35%) and Hindustan Copper (up 0.26%) edged higher. Tata Steel (down 0.9%) and Vedanta (down 0.53%) both declined.
Reliance Infrastructure rose 10.21% to Rs 57.20 after the company bagged a Rs 7,000 crore Versova-Bandra Sea Link (VBSL) project in Mumbai. The company will deliver the project in 60 months from the appointed date of 24 June 2019 as per the contract. VBSL is a marquee project with a length of 17.17 km, which is three times the length of the Bandra-Worli Sea Link of 5.6 km.
Shares of IT companies witnessed selling. The S&P BSE IT was down 40.13 points or 0.25% at 15,885.52.
MindTree (down 1.19%), Tech Mahindra (down 0.6%), MphasiS (down 0.58%), Oracle Financial Services Software (down 0.58%), Infosys (down 0.27%), TCS (down 0.27%) and Hexaware Technologies (down 0.13%) declined. HCL Technologies (up 0.51%), Persistent Systems (up 0.07%) and Wipro (up 0.04%) edged higher.
In the foreign exchange market, the rupee edged higher against the dollar. The partially convertible rupee was hovering at 69.29, compared with its close of 69.36 during the previous trading session.
The NSE's India VIX, a gauge of market's expectation of volatility over the near term, rose 0.29% at 15.055.
On the options front, Nifty option chain for 27 June 2019 expiry showed maximum call open interest (OI) of 39.26 lakh contracts at the 12,000 strike price. Maximum put OI of 48.80 lakh contracts was seen at 11,700 strike price. Options data suggested a trading range for Nifty will be between 11,700 and 12,000.