Indian equities trade flat on profit booking, global cues

Mumbai, Dec 15 (IANS) Indian equity markets traded on a flat note during the mid-afternoon trade session on Thursday, as negative global indices, coupled with profit booking and a weak rupee, subdued investors’ sentiments.

Besides, the equity markets discounted the much awaited decision of the US Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) to hike interest rates and brushed off their early losses.

The two benchmark indices, which opened in the red, pared some of their losses, but still traded on a flat note — marginally in the green, as healthy buying was witnessed in IT, Teck (technology, media and entertainment) and banking stocks.

The wider 51-scrip Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) was up a tad by 2.55 points or 0.03 per cent at 8,185 points.

The barometer 30-scrip Sensitive Index (Sensex) of the BSE, which opened at 26,497.71 points, traded at 26,608.50 points (at 2.30 p.m.) — inched-up 5.66 points or 0.02 per cent from the previous close at 26,602.84 points.

The Sensex has so far touched a high of 26,737.86 points and a low of 26,407.58 points during the intra-day trade.

The BSE market breadth was tilted in favour of the bulls — with 1,355 advances and 1,145 declines.

“The much awaited US Federal rate hike was as expected by 25 bps (basis points), signalling more rate hikes in the next year. However, the markets discounted the rate hike and recovered from their earlier losses,” Astha Jain, Senior Research Analyst at Hem Securities, told IANS.

“The global indices were lower following the rate hike as the US dollar index showed a rise. Crude oil prices were also lower.”

According to Dhruv Desai, Director and Chief Operating Officer of Tradebulls, the Nifty faced resistance at higher levels due to profit booking and firm USD/INR futures prices.

“IT, banking and auto stocks traded with firm sentiments, whereas pharma, oil-gas, textile, aviation and media-entertainment stocks traded with bearish sentiments,” Desai elaborated.

“Cement stocks traded with firm sentiments, whereas FMCG and power stocks traded with mixed sentiments due to profit booking at higher levels.”

On Wednesday, the equity markets were suppressed by upcoming global economic events’ risks and weak European indices.

The barometer index was down 94.98 points or 0.36 per cent, while the NSE Nifty edged down by 39.35 points or 0.48 per cent.