Mumbai,(IANS) Key Indian equity indices on Wednesday closed on a flat note with minimal losses as investors traded with caution ahead of futures and options (F&O) expiry as well as the second quarter GDP data announcement on November 30 (Thursday).
The benchmark indices, which traded in the green during most part of the day, closed marginally in the red as investors booked profits in banking and metal stocks. However, losses were trimmed by healthy buying in consumer durables, capital goods and healthcare stocks.
On closing basis, the wider Nifty50 of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) was down 8.95 points or 0.09 per cent at 10,361.30 points.
The barometer 30-scrip Sensitive Index (Sensex) of the BSE closed at 33,602.76 points -- down 15.83 points or 0.05 per cent -- from Tuesday's close.
The BSE market breadth was bearish -- 1,376 declines and 1,341 advances.
"Markets ended trade with flattish tone as sentiments remained cautious ahead of the gross domestic product (GDP) for the July-September quarter due tomorrow (Thursday). Caution prevailed over the latest missile test by North Korea and softness in Chinese shares hit Asian markets," Dhruv Desai, Director and Chief Operating Officer of Tradebulls, told IANS.
According to Deepak Jasani, Head, Retail Research, HDFC Securities, markets ended marginally lower on Wednesday as the Nifty continued to consolidate in a range.
"It was the second consecutive session of losses for the Nifty. The slide was led by heavyweights like Axis Bank and Zee Entertainment," Jasani told IANS.
The S&P BSE mid-cap index closed lower by 0.17 per cent and the small-cap index by 0.01 per cent.
Vinod Nair, Head of Research, Geojit Financial Services, said: "Q2FY18 GDP is likely to improve to 6.4 per cent as per the consensus estimates, while any extension in crude oil production cut in the upcoming OPEC meet will provide some volatility in the near-term."
"However, strengthening rupee over US dollar and expectation for further upgrade in earnings after the good set of second quarter results will keep the sentiment positive," he added.
On the currency front, the rupee strengthened by 10 paise to close at 64.31-32 against the US dollar from its previous close at 64.41-42.
Sector-wise, the S&P BSE banking index declined by 106.62 points, followed by metal index by 77.64 points and IT index by 26.27 points.
On the other hand, the S&P BSE consumer durables index rose by 126.72 points, capital goods index by 49.64 points and auto index by 44.86 points.
Major Sensex gainers on Wednesday were: Wipro, up 1.33 per cent at Rs 297.90; Adani Ports, up 1.16 per cent at Rs 402.55; Sun Pharma, up 0.77 per cent at Rs 547.90; Hindustan Unilever, up 0.75 per cent at Rs 1,277.35; and Tata Steel, up 0.72 per cent at Rs 709.30.
Major Sensex losers were: Axis Bank, down 2.32 per cent at Rs 549.15; HDFC, down 1.31 per cent at Rs 1,702.90; Asian Paints, down 1.18 per cent at Rs 1,156.20; State Bank of India, down 1.16 per cent at Rs 328.80; and Tata Consultancy Services, down 0.98 per cent at Rs 2,658.55.
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