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Traders at a stockbroking firm in Mumbai (representational image).IANS

Metal stocks led by Tata Steel, Vedanta, Coal India and Welspun Corporation rallied in the range of 1.5 to 4 percent on Wednesday on the stock exchanges that saw benchmark indices making last-minute recovery to end with marginal gains.

Tata Steel shares gained 4.47 percent to close at Rs. 357.70, while Vedanta ended 2.95 percent higher at Rs. 164.20. Welspun Corporation was up 1.32 percent at Rs. 84.75. 

The S&P BSE Metals index gained 1.83 percent while the NSE Nifty Metal rose 1.68 percent.

The Sensex closed 7 points higher at 27,815 and the NSE Nifty 50 also closed almost flat at 8,519.

Foreign institutional investors were net buyers of Indian equities worth Rs. 290.53 crore, while domestic institutional investors were net sellers of Indian stocks valued at Rs. 654.73 crore.

The day saw shares of Indiabulls Housing Finance and Indiabulls Real Estate falling almost 10 percent intraday high in response to reports that their offices were raided by the income tax department on Wednesday in Mumbai and Delhi. The BSE has sought an explanation from the companies to the report.

The day was marked by profit-booking even as the earnings season has begun.

"Traders are booking profits as we move into the earnings season, where broad-based moves are expected to be replaced by sector-specific moves," NDTVProfit quoted Anand James, chief market analyst at Geojit BNP Paribas Financial Services, as saying.

The Indian rupee closed at 67.05 to the US dollar, as against 67.18 on Tuesday.

Jignesh Shah, founder of Financial Technologies India Ltd (FTIL) was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate on Tuesday in the context with the investigation into the Rs 5,600-crore National Spot Exchange Limited (NSEL) money laundering scam, reported NDTVProfit.

"Shah will be produced in a special anti-money laundering court on Wednesday," the channel quoted an Enforcement Directorate official as saying. 

Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) will be declaring its first quarter (June 2016) results on Thursday, followed by Infosys, Reliance Industries, LIC Housing Finance and Mastek on Friday. 

Shares of NBCC (India) closed with a loss of 10.72 percent at Rs. 229.80, responding to news of the government decided to offload 15 percent stake in the company. The disinvestment is expected to net Rs. 1,700 crore to the government.

"The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has approved the disinvestment of 15% paid up equity of National Buildings Construction Corporation Limited (NBCC) out of Government of India's 90% shareholding," a government statement said.

"In order to inculcate a sense of belongingness amongst the employees of NBCC, it has also been decided to allot additional shares to the eligible and willing employees at a discount of 5% to the Issue/discovered (lowest cut off) price of the OFS," the statement added.