Markets ended flat on Thursday as investors turned cautious and booked profits after a six-day rally ahead of the August headline inflation data due tomorrow and US Fed's policy decision later today. On Wednesday the Sensex had closed tad above 18,000, near its seven-month high, for the first time since February 23, 2012.
The 30-share Sensex ended at 18,021 up 21 points and the 50-share Nifty ended at 5,435 up 4 points.
On the global front, Japan's Nikkei average rose on Thursday to end just below the key 9,000 mark on mounting expectations of fresh stimulus from the U.S. Federal Reserve, with big gains for shippers and Apple suppliers buoying the market.
European markets are trading lower with CAC, DAX and FTSE declining between 0.1-1 per cent.
Back home, BSE FMCG and PSU indices gained by almost 1 per cent each followed by counters like Oil & Gas, Capital Goods, IT, Banks and Consumer Durable, all gaining marginally. BSE Healthcare and Realty indices declined by 1 per cent each.
Shares of select public sector undertaking companies (PSU) were in focus ahead of Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) meeting today to consider the disinvestment plan.
National Aluminum Company (Nalco), MMTC, Hindustan Copper, Oil India and Neyveli Lignite Corporation ended higher by 2-5 per cent on the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE).
In the oil and gas space, ONGC was up over 1 per cent after select public sector undertaking companies (PSU) were in focus ahead of Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) meeting today to consider the disinvestment plan.
Index heavyweight Reliance Industries gained marginally after the company late Wednesday said it plans to drill one gas well and convert two sick oil wells into gas wells on the MA oilfield in the predominately gas-rich KG-D6 block as part of its attempts to boost gas production.
In the banking space, ICICI Bank and SBI were up 0.4- 1 per cent. ICICI Bank was up over 1 per cent after the largest private sector lender in the country, has slashed interest rates on retail term deposits by 50 basis points. The revised rates are with effect from Tuesday, the private lender said on its website.
L&T rose 0.66 per cent after its construction arm won order worth over Rs 1,000 crore (Rs 10 billion).
Two-wheeler majors Bajaj Auto and Hero MotoCorp were up 1-2 per cent each on value buying at lower levels after recent losses.
Other notable gainers include GAIL, TCS, Infosys, Wipro, Dr Reddy's and Coal India.
On the losing side, Cipla, JSPL, Bharti Airtel, Sterlite, HDFC and M&M declined between 1-2 per cent.
Inox Leisure and Fame India moved higher by 5 per cent each after the board of Inox Leisure approved scheme of amalgamation of Fame India and Fame Motion Pictures with the company.
TV18 Broadcast surged over 12 per cent on back of heavy volumes ahead of rights issues. BGR Energy Systems dipped 4 per cent at Rs 262 on turning ex-dividend on Thursday.
Fiem Industries gained 8 per cent after the company said it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for technical collaboration with BrightLite Systems Pte Ltd, Singapore.
Shares of Kalindee Rail, Texmaco Rail and Engineering, Kernax Microsystems (India), Stone India and Titagarh Wagons rallied after the state-owned coal miner Coal India Ltd (CIL) on Wednesday said it may spend additional Rs 14,500 crore (Rs 145 billion) as part of capital expenditure on augmenting rail infrastructure.
The broader indices ended marginally lower. The market breadth ended negative with 1,591 declining and 1,258 shares advancing.