Press Trust of india

Markets pare early gains to end flat; focus shifts to RBI policy meet

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Mumbai: Domestic equity benchmarks Sensex and Nifty surrendered early gains to end flat on Wednesday as profit-booking emerged in market majors Reliance Industries and HDFC Bank.

Investors also remained on the sidelines ahead of the RBI’s monetary policy decision on Thursday, traders said.

After rallying 452 points during the day, the BSE Sensex slipped in the red to end 24.58 points or 0.07 per cent lower at 37,663.33.

The NSE Nifty inched up 6.40 points or 0.06 per cent to close at 11,101.65.

HDFC Bank and Reliance Industries were the top drags on the Sensex, tumbling over 1 per cent, as investors booked profits after their recent bull run.

PowerGrid, Tech Mahindra, Infosys, Nestle India and HCL Tech too ended with losses.

On the other hand, Tata Steel rallied 6.33 per cent, followed by Titan, Maruti, Bharti Airtel and M&M.

According to traders, despite positive cues from global markets and sustained foreign fund inflows, stock-specific action dictated domestic market movement during the day.

“Indian benchmark indices were volatile in trade before closing flat with a positive bias. Global cues were also positive while gold again jumped to record highs. Positive earnings reports are driving stocks and markets around the world, and the same trend is visible in the Indian markets too.

“Liquidity is a major driver for the markets and it is chasing companies which are declaring stable earnings or outlook. Uncertainties remain while in the near term markets will look forward to the commentary and RBI actions at the end of the MPC meeting tomorrow,” said Vinod Nair, Head of Research at Geojit Financial Services.

BSE energy, power, FMCG, utilities, IT and healthcare indices slipped up to 0.87 per cent, while metal, auto, basic materials, consumer durables and telecom rose as much as 4.05 per cent.

Broader BSE mid-cap and small-cap indices outperformed benchmarks, rising up to 0.85 per cent.

Meanwhile, India’s services sector activity contracted for the fifth successive month in July as coronavirus-induced restrictions stifled demand, a monthly survey said.

The IHS Markit India Services Business Activity Index stood at 34.2 in July, slightly higher than 33.7 in June.

Global equities advanced amid encouraging corporate earnings, even as gold zoomed past the USD 2,000 per ounce mark on safe-haven buying.

Bourses in Shanghai, Hong Kong and Seoul settled with gains, while Tokyo closed lower.

Stock exchanges in Europe were trading on a positive note in early deals.

Global oil benchmark Brent crude jumped 2.09 per cent to USD 45.36 per barrel.

In the forex market, the rupee settled with gains of 10 paise at 74.94 against the US dollar.

India’s COVID-19 infection tally raced past 19 lakh on Wednesday, two days after it crossed the 18-lakh mark, with 52,509 people testing positive in a day, according to the Union Health Ministry data.

The recoveries have mounted to 12,82,215, while the death toll has reached 39,795, the data showed.

Globally, coronavirus deaths have crossed 7 lakh.

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