Frontline indices the Sensex and the Nifty ended flat amid weak global cues on December 12 as investors globally awaited the last round of rate hikes for the year.
“Economists expect the Federal Reserve on December 14, and the European Central Bank and Bank of England on December 15 to all raise rates by 50 basis points, still a slowing down from the 75 basis point hikes seen in recent meetings,” reported Reuters.
Sensex closed 51 points, or 0.08 percent, lower at 62,130.57 while the Nifty closed the day flat at 18,497.15.
Mid and smallcaps outperformed the benchmarks. The BSE Midcap index rose 0.30 percent while the Smallcap index ended with a gain of 0.36 percent.
Analysts pointed out that the US inflation print and Fed meeting outcome will set the near-term tone for the market.
"After retreating sharply in early trades, both benchmark indices recouped most of their losses but traded range-bound in listless trading for almost the entire trading session, as investors mostly stayed on the sidelines ahead of the inflation data and the US Fed meeting later this week. More clarity will emerge post the US Fed meeting, which will determine the trend in the near future," said Shrikant Chouhan, Head of Equity Research (Retail) at Kotak Securities.
Shares of Tata Steel, Nestle, Dr Reddy's Labs, UltraTech Cement and Wipro ended as the top gainers while those of Asian Paints, Infosys and Titan ended among the top laggards in the Sensex index.
Among the sectoral indices, Nifty PSU Banks rose 1.40 percent, followed by the Oil & Gas index which clocked a gain of 1.05 percent.
On the flip side, Nifty Consumer Durables fell almost a percent while the IT index slipped 0.40 percent.
"A tepid start-off in the domestic market was flattened due to a recovery in banking, metals, and oil & gas, while continued selling in IT stocks weighed on the indices. Key inflation numbers are expected to soften from the previous month, owing to a moderation in food prices. Extending the stock market route, the global markets remained fragile as rate decisions by major central banks took centre stage," Vinod Nair, Head of Research at Geojit Financial observed.
Crude oil prices slipped on concerns over a slowdown in the global economy and weak demand. Brent Crude fell more than a percent in trade to hover near the $75 a barrel level.
The rupee fell 26 paise to end at 82.54 per dollar after the greenback gained ahead of the FOMC meeting outcome.
Technical views by experts
Gaurav Ratnaparkhi, Head of Technical Research at Sharekhan by BNP Paribas pointed out that the Nifty stepped into a short-term consolidation phase in the last week and as a result, opened a gap-down on December 12.
Ratnaparkhi said on the downside, the bulls moved in to offer support as the index inched towards the short-term support of 18300, which is a 78.6 percent retracement of the recent up move. On the other hand, recovery for the day was restricted near 18,500.
"The overall structure shows that the Nifty can have a short-term consolidation in the range of 18,300-18,650," said Ratnaparkhi.
Key market data
Disclaimer: The views and recommendations given in this article are those of individual analysts. These do not represent the views of MintGenie.