The BSE benchmark Sensex on Thursday inched up by nearly 42 points on buying in HDFC Bank, Infosys and Tata Power, amid expiry of monthly equity derivatives.

Midcap and smallcaps continued to outperform bluechip indices on the back retail investor interest, said traders.

The Sensex, which had lost 68.32 points in the previous session, recovered by 41.88 points, or 0.20 per cent, to end at 21,074.59, after touching the day’s high of 21,135.85.

In the 30-share Sensex, 14 stocks gained and 15 declined, while ICICI Bank shares remained unchanged in percentage term.

On similar lines, the broad-based National Stock Exchange index Nifty rose by 10.50 points, or 0.17 per cent, to 6,278.90 led by power, consumer durables and banking scrips.

SX40 index of MCX Stock Exchange rose 23.10 points to end at 12,533.26.

Brokers said funds were seen covering their pending long positions on the last settlement in monthly equity derivatives segment of calendar year 2013.

The absence of foreign funds from the market due to year-end holidays affected trading volumes, they added.

Power-related stocks, led by Tata Power that shot up by 4.06 per cent, saw heavy buying. Reliance Power (1.40 per cent) and BHEL (1.33 per cent) were among notable winners.

Sectorally, the BSE Power sector index gained the most by rising 1.06 per cent, followed by Consumer Durable index (0.88 per cent), Banking index (0.53 per cent) and Metal index (0.50 per cent), among others.

The BSE Midcap and Smallcap indices went up by 0.41 and 1.15 per cent respectively.

Sugar stocks rose after government on Thursday okayed modalities for the beleaguered industry to avail interest-free loans to the tune of Rs. 6,600 crore from banks for effecting timely payment to cane growers.

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