Sensex ends flat after choppy ride

Last Updated: Wed, Mar 19, 2014 11:17 hrs

Despite some strong buying in the metal space and a few front line stocks from banking, capital goods, FMCG and healthcare sectors, the benchmark Indian stock indices Sensex and Nifty ended flat on Wednesday, with investors mostly treading cautiously ahead of the U.S.Federal Reserve's policy decision due later in the day. A weak revenue outlook from Tata Consultancy Services dragged down IT stocks and contributed to the market's flat close.

A weak trend in Asian and European markets and a lack of triggers from the domestic front too contributed to the sluggish trend in the market.

The BSE benchmark Sensex, which swung between 21,895.83 and 21,782.01, ended the day at 21,832.86, up 0.25 points from its previous close. The Nifty index of the National Stock Exchange closed at 6524.05, gaining 8 points or 0.11%. The Nifty touched a high of 6541.20 and a low of 6506 during the day.

Despite opening on a firm note on positive lead from Wall Street, Asian markets retreated and mostly closed lower. European markets too traded weak with investos looking ahead to the Fed's move on interest rates and stimulus. It is widely expected that the U.S. Federal Reserve will cut its asset purchase by another $10 billion a month to $55 billion.

In the forex market, the rupee was last seen hovering around 61.05 a dollar. The dropped retreated to 61.16 a dollar in early trades after opening at 61.06.the rupee opened at 61.06 against the U.S. dollar, up 13 paise from Tuesday's close of 61.19 a dollar.

Tata Steel and Hindalco ended higher by around 4.5%. Sesa Sterlite notched up a gain of 2.1%. SAIL, Jindal Steel & Power, JSW Steel and NMDC also closed with strong gains.

Axis Bank moved up 2.8%. HDFC, Bharti Airtel, ITC, Sun Pharmaceutical Industries, Hindustan Unilever, Wipro, Tata Motors, Bajaj Auto, Reliance Industries, BHEL, HDFC Bank, State Bank of India and Larsen & Toubro gained 0.5% - 1.8%.

Ambuja Cements, Punjab National Bank, Asian Paints, ACC, Lupin, Rambaxy Laboratories, Grasim Industries, Power Grid Corporation, IDFC and Ultra Tech Cement closed with sharp to moderate gains.

Tata Consultancy Services ended nearly 4% down after the company said it expects a weak fourth quarter on account of a slow start to the year after the holiday season and a softer Indian market. However, the company said its revenue growth next financial year will exceed that of the industry.Infosys lost around 2.3% and HCL Technologies closed lower by 0.6%.

ONGC, Mahindra & Mahindra, Coal India,Tata Power, GAIL India and NTPC lost 2% - 3.3%. Hero Motocorp, IndusInd Bank, Cipla and BPCL also closed weak.

State Bank of Travancore, Polaris Financial Technology, Arrow Coated Products and Amtek India saw some strong buying on stock specific news.

The market breadth was slightly positive. Out of 2952 stocks traded on BSE, 1458 stocks moved up. 1342 stocks declined and 152 stocks ended flat.

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