Benchmark indices ended the rangebound session on a flat note Monday as caution prevailed ahead of Karnataka election results due tomorrow.
Exit polls announced after voting on Saturday projected hung assembly in Karnataka. Hence, the market remained rangebound throughout the session and traders preferred to avoid taking big positions.
The 30-share BSE Sensex gained 20.92 points at 35,556.71 and the 50-share NSE Nifty rose 0.10 points to 10,806.60.
“One can expect volatility tomorrow as Karnataka poll results hit the TV screens. A BJP majority is not priced in and neither is a Congress win,” VK Sharma, Head Private Client Group & Capital Market Strategy at HDFC Securities.
Sectoral trend was mixed as Nifty Bank and Pharma indices gained 0.2 percent each while Auto, FMCG, IT and Metal indexes declined up to 0.9 percent.
Titan Company was the biggest loser with a loss of nearly 4 percent followed by Tata Motors, Vedanta, M&M, TCS, Yes Bank and Eicher Motors that slipped up to 2 percent.
HDFC Bank, HDFC, Infosys, SBI, IndusInd Bank, ITC, BPCL and HPCL supported the market, rising up to 1.3 percent.
HUL ended flat ahead of quarterly earnings announced after market hours. The FMCG major beat analyst expectation on all parameters as profit during the quarter ended March 2018 grew by 14.2 percent and operating income jumped 24 percent while domestic volume growth was at 11 percent.
Meanwhile, Wholesale Price Index inflation increased to 3.18 percent in the month of April compared to 2.47 percent in previous month. Manufactured products inflation also inched up to 3.11 percent from 3.03 percent on month-on-month basis.
The broader markets, however, saw sharp cuts due to correction in banking & financials, ADAG stocks etc.
The Nifty Midcap index was down 1.2 percent and the BSE Smallcap index fell 1 percent on weak market breadth. About two shares declined for every share rising on the BSE.
Canara Bank share price gained 1.4 percent despite the loss of Rs 4,860 crore for March quarter. Positive management commentary saying that there could be fall in non-performing assets boosted sentiment.
IDBI Bank, IOB, Allahabad Bank, Vijaya Bank, Dena Bank, Ujjivan Financial, Shriram Transport, PTC India Financial, Tata Global, Kesoram Industries, Delta Corp, Jet Airways, Ashok Leyland, PTC, Reliance Naval, Reliance Infrastructure, Reliance Power, Adani Power, Jaiprakash Associates and PC Jeweller were down up to 14 percent.
OBC, Sun TV Network, South Indian Bank, Parag Milk Foods, Saregama India and Gujarat Gas gained up to 11 percent.
On the global front, most Asian markets closed higher as investors focused on trade relations between the US and China, and a dip in oil prices. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng rose 1.35 percent while Japan’s Nikkei, China’s Shanghai Composite and Australia’s ASX 200 closed up more than 0.3 percent each.
European stocks were slightly lower. France’s CAC, Germany’s DAX and Britain’s FTSE were down 0.2 percent each at the time of writing this article.
Crude oil price was off its 3-1/2-year high as rising US drilling pointed to higher North American production. Brent crude futures were trading at USD 76.96 a barrel, down 0.21 percent.