Mumbai, Dec 21: It was another dull day for the market as equity benchmarks closed flat amid volatility on Thursday, tracking mixed global cues; but the broader markets continued to move northward for sixth consecutive session.
Private banks, auto and FMCG stocks were under pressure while technology, metals and pharma stocks gained.
The 30-share BSE Sensex was down 21.10 points at 33,756.28 and the 50-share NSE Nifty fell 3.90 points to 10,440.30.
The sideways trade along with low volumes is expected to continue for couple of weeks as it is generally a holiday period for foreign investors on Christmas and year-end, experts suggest.
“With no major event in sight, keep a close watch on global developments for further cues. Despite recent run-up, midcap and smallcap space have still lot to offer,” Jayant Manglik, President, Retail Distribution, Religare Securities said.
The Nifty Midcap index ended at record closing high, up 1 percent and rising 5 percent in six consecutive sessions. About two shares advanced for every share falling on the NSE.
Traders should focus more on stock selection now, Manglik advised. “We may see marginal dip in Nifty in next session and suggest using it as buying opportunity,” he said.
DB Realty (locked at 20 percent upper circuit), Unitech (up 12 percent), Sun TV Network (4.5 percent) and Reliance Communications (4 percent) reacted strongly to 2G spectrum case verdict.
Reliance Infrastructure rallied 8 percent on closing the deal for Mumbai power business sale with Adani Transmission that surged 10 percent.
L&T was up 2 percent after Motilal Oswal has maintained buy rating on the stock with a target price at Rs 1,440 (implying 19 percent upside), citing likely pick up in domestic execution in second half of FY18 as GST impact tapered off.
Mahindra and Mahindra fell 3.7 percent as the stock adjusted for bonus share issue in the ratio of one share for every share held. Castrol India and Balkrishna Industries fell 3 percent each, but Vakrangee gained 4 percent as these stocks also adjusted for bonus share issue (1:1).
Maruti Suzuki, Bajaj Finance, HUL, HPCL and Bharti Airtel among others were down 1 percent each whereas HDFC, Infosys, HCL Technologies, Tata Steel, Hero Motocorp and Hindalco were up 0.5-2 percent.
Wockhardt jumped nearly 12 percent as the drug maker will be offering its Waluj facility near Aurangabad, Maharashtra in early 2018 for US FDA inspection.
Reliance Nippon Life Asset Management gained nearly 3 percent after CLSA has initiated coverage with Buy rating and Ajanta Pharma was also up 3 percent after Motilal Oswal has maintained Buy call with increased target price at Rs 1,790 (from Rs 1,606).
Ramco Cement fell 2 percent after Deutsche Bank downgraded the stock to hold from buy and slashed target price to Rs 750 from Rs 790 as weak demand and prices in South Indian affected medium-term outlook.
Pincon Spirit fell 7 percent after market regulator Sebi has ordered forensic audit of the company to check misuse of funds.