Indices end flat ahead of FOMC meet outcome, FO expiry

Equity benchmarks have ended the session on a flat note, off the day’s low points. The Sensex ended just below the flatline. The Nifty, meanwhile, ended just above 10,650-mark.

A steady show was seen by financials, as the Nifty Bank outperformed all of its peers. ICICI Bank was the big gainer and managed to pull up the market. The stock contributed 250 points to the Bank Nifty’s gains.

The big movers were HDFC Bank, Indiabulls Housing, ICICI Bank, Bajaj Auto, IOC and Jubilant Foodworks.

Uncertainty around US-China relations kept global markets mixed. There was some weakness on the rupee, while oil prices rose. Additionally, investors were cautious ahead of the outcome of FOMC meeting outcome as well as F&O expiry.

At the close of market hours, the Sensex was down 1.25 points or 0.00% at 35591.25, and the Nifty down 0.40 points or 0.00% at 10651.80. The market breadth was narrow as 1,363 shares advanced, 1106 shares declined, and 160 shares are unchanged.

ICICI Bank and Tata Steel were the top gainers, while Kotak Mahindra Bank, Bajaj Auto, Indiabulls Housing and Adani Ports lost the most.

“We continue to maintain our cautious view on the Indian markets in the near term given slowdown in the global economy. On the domestic front, stock specific volatility would remain high as more companies are likely to come out with quarterly results. Further, political uncertainty and a possible fiscal slippage by the government is likely to weigh on domestic sentiments. Till budget 2019 concludes, we expect markets to remain volatile. Hence, we advise investors and traders to focus on stocks with prudent management and sound fundamentals,” Jayant Manglik, President, Religare Broking said in a statement.

Stocks in the News

Shares of Granules India rose 4.5 percent after company reported strong numbers for the quarter ended December 2018.

Axis Bank soared 4.5 percent as investors cheered its results for December quarter.

ICICI Bank’s shares were up over 5 percent ahead of its December quarter results to be declared later in the day.

Indian Oil Corporation has reported a fall of 78 percent in its net profit for the December quarter to Rs 716 crore against Rs 3,247 crore that the company reported last quarter. The stock fell 2 percent.

Global Markets

European markets were slightly lower as investors waited for cues from US-China trade talk outcome. Stoxx 600 index dipped 0.1 percent lower.

In Asia, major markets closed mixed ahead of hopes of a resolution between US and China. The Shanghai composite slipped about 0.72 percent to 2,575.58 while the Shenzhen component fell 1.070 percent to 7,470.47. The Shenzhen composite also declined 1.279 percent to 1,283.71.