(PTI) Benchmark equity indices Sensex and Nifty traded almost flat in morning trade on Thursday as gains from crude oil prices and select banking stocks were offset by losses in IT and FMCG shares amid assembly poll results in Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat.
The 30-share BSE Sensex rose marginally by 28.87 points or 0.05 per cent to 62,439.55 in a choppy trade. As many as 16 of its components gained while 14 declined.
The broader Nifty of the National Stock Exchange was marginally up 8.60 points or 0.05 per cent at 18,569.10 as 28 of its constituents advanced, 21 declined and 1 remained unchanged.
Among major gainers, IndusInd Bank rose by 1 per cent, Axis Bank by 0.91 per cent and ICICI Bank by 0.95 per cent on BSE. SBI, Mahindra & Mahindra, L&T, Nestle, UltraTech Cement, Maruti and Reliance also advanced.
On the other hand, Kotak Bank, HUL, TCS, Tech Mahindra, Infosys, Power Grid, Asian Paints, Sun Pharma, Dr Reddy's and Wipro declined.
"Even while reaffirming that the Indian economy is doing well in a world of slowing growth and inflation fears, RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das indicated that the global spillovers are slowing down India’s economic momentum," V K Vijayakumar, Chief Investment Strategist at Geojit Financial Services said.
"The PSU banking space, particularly the leading names, is likely to remain resilient. Capital goods stocks are showing strength," he said.
The BJP is eyeing a record seventh straight term in Gujarat and also hoping to buck the anti-incumbency trend in Himachal Pradesh witnessed for nearly four decades as the counting of votes started on Thursday for the Assembly elections in the two states.
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Wednesday hiked the key repo rate by 35 basis points, the fifth straight increase since May, raising prospects of EMIs for home, auto and other loans rising further.
The economic "growth in India remains resilient, and inflation is expected to moderate," Das said. "But the battle against inflation is not over."
The RBI retained its 6.7 per cent inflation forecast for the current fiscal year ending March but lowered economic growth expectation to 6.8 per cent from the 7 per cent forecast previously.
On Wednesday, Sensex ended 215.68 points or 0.34 per cent lower at 62,410.68. Similarly, the broader Nifty fell 82.25 points or 0.44 per cent to 18,560.50.
Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs) were net sellers in capital markets as they offloaded shares worth ₹1,241.87 crore on Wednesday, according to exchange data.