Mumbai: Broadly negative global cues, especially owing to the political uncertainty in the UK on Brexit, along with a sustained weakness in the Indian currency, subdued the Indian equity market on Wednesday with both major indices — Sensex and Nifty50 — ending flat.
Globally, investors reacted with caution after the British government lost the Brexit vote in Parliament, triggering a no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Teresa May.
“The market was range-bound as the impasse over the Brexit deal and continued partial shutdown in US government drove the sentiment,” said Vinod Nair, Head of Research, Geojit Financial Services.
However, positive macro-trade data kept the benchmark Sensex and Nifty in a range for the most part of the day’s session.
Consequently, the NSE Nifty50 gained a meagre 3.50 points or 0.03 per cent to settle at 10,890.30.
The S&P BSE Sensex closed higher 2.96 points or 0.01 per cent at 36,321.29 from the previous close of 36,318.33 points.
It opened at 36,370.74 points and touched an intra-day high of 36,462.03 and a low of 36,278.61 points.
On the macro front, India’s trade deficit in December narrowed due to a fall in imports — $41.01 billion or 2.44 per cent down from $42.03 billion in the same month in 2017.
Nair also added that the narrowed trade deficit and selective buying in banks and pharma stocks helped market to end on flat note.
Interest-sensitive banking stocks led the gains on both BSE and NSE as investors expect the central bank to cut policy rates at its three-dday Monitory Policy Committee (MPC) from February 7.
Recent data has indicated a cooling inflation, providing room for the RBI to go for the rate cut, analysts said.
Sector-wise, the Nifty PSU Bank index gained 0.60 per cent, the most among the 11 sectors on the NSE. Banking stocks on the BSE also edged higher, gaining 0.68 per cent.
Similarly, global markets traded on a mixed note amid political tension in the UK.
“Market focus is now largely attuned to political uncertainty in the UK, with investors turning their attention to a confidence vote on May’s government on Wednesday evening,” said Abhijeet Dey, Senior Fund Manager-Equities, BNP Paribas Mutual Fund.
The Indian rupee lost 20 paise to settle at 71.24 per US dollar against the previous close of 71.04.
“Technically, the Nifty seems to have taken a breather after the hefty rally seen yesterday. Further upsides are likely once the immediate resistances of 10,928 are taken out,” said Deepak Jasani of HDFC Securities.
“Crucial supports to watch for any weakness are now at 10,808.”
In terms of investments, FIIs sold shares worth Rs 90.10 crore, whereas DIIs bought Rs 304.27-crore stocks on Wednesday.
Stock-wise, Yes Bank, IndusInd Bank gained over 2 per cent while IT major Infosys, gained over 1 per cent
ICICI Bank and ONGC inched up to 1 per cent.
In contrast, Vedanta, Bharti Airtel, Asian Paints, Hero Moto Corp, Bajaj Finance lost in the range of 1 to 2 per cent.