Mumbai: The Indian key equity indices settled on a flat-to-positive note on Wednesday after tepid trade throughout the session due to caution ahead of the earning season for January-March 2017-18 starting Friday and heavy selling pressure on oil and gas and banking stocks.
However, healthy buying in consumer durables and metal stocks supported the indices.
The wider Nifty50 of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) ended the day’s trade at 10,417.15 points, up 14.90 points or 0.14 per cent from the previous close.
The BSE’s barometer 30-scrip Sensex, which opened at 33,970.35 points, settled at 33,940.44 points — up 60.19 points or 0.18 per cent — from its previous session’s close.
The Sensex touched a high of 33,981.54 points and a low of 33,750.74 during the intra-day trade.
The BSE market breadth was bearish with 1,506 declines and 1,195 advances.
“Equity markets ended in narrow trade, after a choppy session dragged by financials and oil marketing companies,” said Dhruv Desai, Director and Chief Operating Officer of Tradebulls.
According to Deepak Jasani, Head, Retail Research, HDFC securities: “Market participants seemed to be cautious ahead of the earnings season beginning on Friday.”
US Federal Reserve will be releasing minutes of its March 20-21, 2018 meeting later on Wednesday, leading to further caution in the markets, Jasani told IANS.
Major Asian markets closed on a positive note barring the KOSPI and Nikkei indices, he said, adding that “European indices like FTSE 100, DAX and CAC 40 are trading in the red.”
On the currency front, the rupee weakened by 33 paise to end at 65.32 against the US dollar.
In terms of investments, provisional data with the exchanges showed that foreign institutional investors bought scrips worth Rs 362.30 crore, and the domestic institutional investors purchased stocks worth Rs 111.82 crore.
Sector-wise, S&P BSE consumer durables index, gained the most, with 229.80 points followed by the metal index, up 226.33 points and IT index, up 165.70 points.
Top losers among the BSE sectors were: S&P BSE oil and gas index, down 335.91 points, banking index down 195 points and finance index, down 26 points.
Major Sensex gainers on Wednesday were: TCS, up 2.85 per cent at Rs 3,015.50; Sun Pharma, up 2.50 per cent at Rs 520.70; Reliance Industries, up 1.37 per cent at Rs 929.05; Hindustan Unilever, up 1.29 per cent at Rs 1,408.90 and Kotak Bank, up 1.09 per cent at Rs 1,125.70 per share.
Top losers on the Sensex were: Adani Ports, down 2.26 per cent at Rs 377.70; State Bank of India, down 2.26 per cent at Rs 257.30; Yes Bank, down 2.26 per cent at Rs 312.00; ICICI Bank, down 1.66 at Rs 284.10; and Axis Bank, down 1.19 per cent at Rs 539.50 per share.