Mumbai, Nov 1 (IANS) Weak global markets, profit booking and an outflow of foreign funds pulled the Indian equity markets lower on Tuesday.
The key indices witnessed a rush of buying activity during the mid-afternoon trade session and registered gains of close to 0.5 per cent each.
However, the markets succumbed to a bout of profit booking during the last few minutes of trade and this caused the indices to cede their initial gains — to close the day’s trade on a flat note.
Heavy selling pressure was witnessed in consumer durables, healthcare and IT stocks.
The wider 51-scrip Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) inched up by 0.55 points or 0.01 per cent to 8,626.25 points.
In contrast, the barometer 30-scrip sensitive index (Sensex) of the BSE, which opened at 27,966.18 points, closed at 27,876.61 points — down 53.60 points or 0.19 per cent, from its previous close at 27,930.21 points.
The Sensex touched a high of 28,029.80 points and a low of 27,845.63 points during the intra-day trade.
The BSE market breadth was tilted in favour of the bulls — with 1,470 advances and 1,442 declines.
On the special “Muhurat” trade session on Sunday, the benchmark indices had closed on a negative note due to caution ahead of key global events’ risks, negative international cues and profit booking.
The barometer index had declined by 11.30 points or 0.04 per cent, while the NSE Nifty edged lower by 12.30 points or 0.14 per cent.
Initially on Tuesday, the key indices started the day on a flat note and made gains on the back of healthy domestic macro-economic data.
Investor sentiment was given a fillip after data released by Markit Economics indicated that the headline seasonally adjusted Nikkei India Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) climbed to a 22-month high of 54.4 in October from 52.1 in September.
However, profit booking at higher levels led the indices to cap gains.
Besides, investors remained cautious ahead of the two-day US Fed’s FOMC (Federal Open Market Committee) later in the evening.
“Firm PMI and auto sales numbers lifted stocks mid day, but with no signs of FIIs (foreign institutional investors) reversing their selling spree which has now lasted for almost three weeks, and with European markets turning lower, Indian markets gave away the initial gains,” Anand James, Chief Market Strategist, Geojit BNP Paribas Financial Services, told IANS.
According to Dhruv Desai, Director and Chief Operating Officer of Tradebulls, the Nifty witnessed resistance at higher levels in second half of the session due to profit booking but managed to close firm.
“IT stocks witnessed selling pressure at higher levels. Banking stocks witnessed profit booking at higher levels in second half of the session,” Desai said.
Nevertheless, the Indian rupee strengthened by nine paise to 66.71 against a US dollar from its previous close of 66.79 to a greenback.
In terms of investments, provisional data with exchanges showed that the foreign institutional investors (FIIs) sold stocks worth Rs 123.96 crore, whereas the domestic institutional investors (DIIs) bought scrip worth Rs 192.10 crore.
Sector-wise, the S&P BSE healthcare index plunged by 141.63 points, followed by the healthcare index, which declined by 136.83 points, and the IT index fell by 119.76 points.