Extending gains into the second consecutive session, domestic equity market benchmarks the Sensex and the Nifty ended slightly higher on November 23.
However, the gains were capped as caution prevailed ahead of the US Fed's November policy meeting minutes.
Fed's minutes for its November policy meeting are due later today which will be the focus of investors to get clues on the pace of interest rate hikes.
Rising Covid-19 cases in China, an uptick in crude oil prices and the rupee's weakness against the dollar also weighed on sentiment.
Crude oil prices rose after, as per media reports, a larger-than-expected fall in US crude stock. Brent Crude traded near the $90 per barrel mark.
The rupee ended 18 paise lower at 81.85 per dollar.
Sensex opened at 61,779.71 against the previous close of 61,418.96 and touched its intraday high and low of 61,780.90 and 61,442.69 respectively.
The index eventually closed 92 points, or 0.15%, up at 61,510.58 while the Nifty ended with a gain of 23 points, or 0.13%, at 18,267.25.
The BSE Midcap index rose 0.20% while the Smallcap index ended 0.54% higher.
"Markets moved in a narrow range with strong bouts of intra-day volatility ahead of the monthly F&O expiry. Traders mostly preferred to stay cautious before the FOMC minutes release and the Fed's comments which would determine the trend in the near term," said Shrikant Chouhan, Head of Equity Research ( Retail), Kotak Securities.
“Global factors like China imposing lockdowns in several of its cities and its impact on the global economy would continue to hurt the market sentiment,” said Chouhan.
SBI, Bajaj Finance and Dr Reddy's Labs ended as the top gainers while Power Grid, Tech Mahindra and Bharti Airtel ended as the top laggard stock in the Sensex index.
Among the sectoral indices, the Nifty PSU Bank index continued its upward March, rising 1.02%. The Nifty Metal index fell 0.40%.
Some 111 stocks, including Bank of India, Bank of Baroda, Canara Bank, Indian Bank, Karnataka Bank and Punjab National Bank, hit their 52-week highs in intraday trade on BSE.
Technical views by experts
Chouhan said after the reversal formation, the Nifty formed a small bearish candle indicating indecisiveness between the bulls and bears.
“For the traders, 18,200 would be the immediate support level and above the same, the index could retest the level of 18,350-18,400. On the flip side, the dismissal of 18,200 could accelerate the selling pressure up to 18,100-18,070 levels,” said Chouhan.
Kunal Shah, Senior Technical Analyst at LKP Securities pointed out that the index saw selling pressure around the resistance zone of 18,300-18,350.
Shah said the options data indicates a hurdle at 18,300 where the highest open interest is built up a day before the monthly expiry.
"The index lower-end support is visible at 18,200-18,150 which will act as a cushion for the bulls. The bulls need to cross the level of 18,350 decisively to continue the momentum on the upside toward the 18,500 level," said Shah.
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.