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Sensex, Nifty close flat in choppy trade ahead of RBI policy decision

Sensex, Nifty close flat in choppy trade ahead of RBI policy decision
Mumbai, Benchmark stock indices Sensex and Nifty closed flat in a volatile trade on Wednesday as investors stayed on the sidelines ahead of RBI's interest rate decision on Thursday. The 30-share BSE Sensex declined 34.09 points or 0.05 per cent to settle at 72,152. During the day, it hit a high of 72,559.21 and a low of 71,938.22.

The Nifty ended marginally up by 1.10 points or 0.01 per cent to 21,930.50.

IT shares TCS, Infosys and Tech Mahindra declined due to profit taking offsetting gains from select banking and pharma shares.

"The domestic market exhibited cautious range-bound movement, despite robust PMI data and favourable global cues ahead of RBI policy meet. While no change in stance is anticipated, the RBI's commentary on any hints regarding potential rate cuts and improvements in liquidity will be closely monitored," Vinod Nair, Head of Research, Geojit Financial Services said.

Among the Sensex firms, State Bank of India rose the most by 3.78 per cent after the bank announced the acquisition of SBI CAPS subsidiary for Rs 708.07 crore.

Nestle India gained 1.68 per cent after it reported around 9 per cent growth in sales.

JSW Steel, Bajaj Finance, Axis Bank and Asian Paints were among the gainers.

Tech Mahindra, Power Grid, Infosys, Tata Consultancy Services, HDFC Bank, Wipro, Larsen & Toubro and NTPC were the major laggards.

"Markets erased all its gains towards the end as profit-taking in IT stocks and sluggish global indices weighed on the sentiment. Traders are adopting a cautious stance ahead of the credit policy announcement tomorrow.

"While investors are bracing for a status-quo on the interest rate decision, what will be important to note is the tone of the announcement which would signal the central bank's stance on interest rate going ahead," said Prashanth Tapse, Senior VP (Research), Mehta Equities Ltd.

In the broader market, the BSE midcap gauge climbed 1.31 per cent and smallcap index advanced 0.38 per cent.

Shares of retail firm Trent Ltd surged 19 per cent after it reported a two-fold rise in consolidated net profit to Rs 370.64 crore for the December quarter.

Paytm-owner One97 Communications climbed 10 per cent, continuing its recovery journey.

Among sectoral indices, IT fell by 1.18 per cent, teck declined 0.97 per cent, services by 0.81 per cent, capital goods by 0.31 per cent and auto by 0.06 per cent.

Realty jumped 1.96 per cent, telecommunication climbed 1.18 per cent, consumer discretionary (0.89 per cent), financial services (0.76 per cent) and power (0.92 per cent).

In Asian markets, Seoul and Shanghai settled in the positive territory while Tokyo and Hong Kong ended in the negative zone.

European markets were mostly quoting lower. The US markets ended with gains on Tuesday.

Foreign institutional investors (FIIs) bought equities worth Rs 92.52 crore on Tuesday, according to exchange data.

The BSE benchmark climbed 454.67 points or 0.63 per cent to settle at 72,186.09 on Tuesday. The Nifty went up by 157.70 points or 0.72 per cent to 21,929.40.

Global oil benchmark Brent crude climbed 0.66 per cent to USD 79.11 a barrel.

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