Headline indices the Sensex and the Nifty ended flat on January 11 as gains in shares of HDFC Bank, TCS and ICICI Bank were offset by losses in those of Reliance Industries, Bharti Airtel and Hindustan Unilever.
Positive global cues and the rupee's rise also underpinned sentiment.
Asian shares rose to a six-month high on January 11 while the dollar steadied, as investors waited for US inflation data for cues on the Federal Reserve's interest rate policy, reported Reuters.
After Fed Chair Jerome Powell refrained from commenting on the course of rate hikes in his speech on January 10, the market has now shifted focus to the US inflation print, which is to come out on January 12, for cues on interest rate trajectory.
Sensex fell as much as 310 points to 59,805.78 in intraday trade but recovered sharply to settle flat. The 30-share pack closed 10 points, or 0.02 percent, lower at 60,105.50. Nifty50 ended 18 points, or 0.10 percent, lower at 17,895.70.
The BSE Midcap index underperformed Sensex, falling 0.27 percent. The Smallcap index closed with a nominal gain of 0.02 percent.
Crude oil prices traded with mild gains. Brent Crude prices hovered near the $80 per barrel mark. The rupee rose 21 paise to close at 81.57 per dollar.
Top Sensex gainers: Shares of Sun Pharma, UltraTech Cement, HDFC Bank and TCS ended as the top gainers in the Sensex index.
Top Sensex losers: Shares of Bharti Airtel, Hindustan Unilever and Reliance Industries ended as the top losers in the benchmark index.
With a loss of 1.13 percent, Nifty FMCG ended as the top sectoral loser. Nifty Healthcare, Pharma and Auto indices slipped more than half a percent each.
On the other hand, Nifty Metal, PSU Bank, Bank and Financial Services rose over half a percent each.
Experts' views on markets
“After a volatile session, the domestic market anchored near the flat line as investors remained cautious ahead of the release of inflation data, though positive sentiments from global counterparts attempted multiple recoveries in between,” said Vinod Nair, Head of Research at Geojit Financial Services.
Nair added that the relentless selling by FIIs as a result of the premium valuation of the domestic market is weighing on the domestic market.
Shrikant Chouhan, Head of Equity Research (Retail) at Kotak Securities pointed out that while the markets moved in a narrow range, bouts of intraday volatility continued to keep investors at bay.
Chouhan added that the latest US Federal Reserve chairman's speech, too, didn't signal any moderation in their rate hike approach. Currently, the market is witnessing non-directional activity and, perhaps, traders are waiting for either side breakout.
Technical view by experts
Gaurav Ratnaparkhi, Head of Technical Research at Sharekhan by BNP Paribas highlighted that the Nifty has been witnessing sharp swings in both directions which is a part of the short-term consolidation process.
He added that the oscillations in the last few sessions have resulted in a triangular pattern formation.
"The Nifty received support on the downside as it approached the lower end of the pattern. 17,800 is a key support on the downside. Unless that breaks on a closing basis, the index is expected to witness recovery once again. On the higher side, the immediate hurdle is at 18,000 beyond which, it can test 18,100-18,150 in the short term," said Ratnaparkhi.
Chouhan said 18,000 would be the important breakout level for bulls, and above the same, we can expect a quick uptrend rally towards 18,100-18,150 levels. On the flip side, he said trading below 17,800 may trigger further weakness up to 17,700-17,675.
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.