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Markets ended flat, amid a volatile trading session, after investors turned cautious and booked profits at higher levels after reports suggested that the recent rally seems to have run ahead of fundamentals.
The current market rally has been building up on hopes that the BJP-led NDA alliance emerging victorious in the Lok Sabha elections.
The 30-share Sensex ended up 41 points at 22,445 and the 50-share Nifty gained 4 points to end at 6,699.
The rupee slipped from its early highs and was trading lower at 60.17 compared with its previous close of 60.16 on Friday, after domestic equity markets came off their day's high to end flat.
Asian markets ended lower after a private survey indicated that China's manufacturing data in April came in lower than expected. HSBC's April PMI for China's manufacturing sector slipped to 48.1 against expectations of 48.3.
However, as per official PMI released for the servives sector showed that April PMI edged up to 54.8 compared with 54.5 in March.
Japanese markets were closed for trading today. Shanghai Composite recovered from the day's lows to end flat with positive bias. Hang Seng was down 1.3 per cent and Straits Times eased 0.3 per cent.
European markets eased further after investors turned cautious after weak manufacturing data from China while concerns over the crisis in Ukraine also dampened investor sentiment. UK markets were closed today. CAC-40 was down 1.1 per cent and DAX was down 1.4 per cent.
The BSE Oil & Gas index was the top gainer among the sectoral indices up 1.5 per cent. RIL and ONGC ended up 1.8 per cent each.
According to technical analysts Reliance Ind and ONGC looks good on the charts. Reliance Ind can be bought with a stop loss at Rs 925 and ONGC can be bought with a stop loss at Rs 330.
Metal shares also witnessed a rebound on value buying and short-covering at lower levels after the recent correction. The Metal Index ended up 1.2 per cent. Hindalco ended up 4.8 per cent and Tata Steel ended up 1.7 per cent.
ITC, L&T and Axis Bank were among the other Sensex gainers.
IT major Infosys and mortgage lender HDFC were the top Sensex losers.
Among other shares, Ajanta Pharma surged 8.4 per cent to end at Rs 1,060 after reporting over two-fold jump in standalone net profit at Rs 70 crore for the quarter ended March 31, 2014 (Q4FY14), on the back of higher revenues from exports.The pharmaceutical company had reported profit of Rs 27 crore in the same quarter year a ago.
Alstom T&D India lost 0.4 per cent after surging intra-day to close at Rs 270, while Alstom India ended up 0.7 per cent at Rs 457. GE has offered to buy 25 per cent in Alstom T&D India Ltd from public shareholders at Rs 261.25 a share in a deal valued at up to $278 million. GE is also seeking to buy 26 per cent of Alstom India Ltd at Rs 382.20 per share for up to $111 million.
Century Textiles and Industries rallied 7.3 per cent to end at Rs 381, extending its Friday’s 6 per cent surge, after the company said its board has approved issue of 1.86 crore preferential warrants to promoters.
V-Guard Industries surged 7 per cent to end at Rs 523 after reporting a 129 per cent year-on-year growth in net profit for the quarter ended March 31, 2014 (Q4FY14) at Rs 20.48 crore ( Rs 200 million), due to higher sales and lower ad spends. The consumer electrical and electronics firm had reported a profit of Rs 8.94 crore ( Rs 89 million) during the same quarter a year ago.
The shares of sanitaryware companies have rallied by up to 20 per cent for the second consecutive day in a row on the back of heavy volumes.
Cera Sanitaryware, HSIL, Orient Bell and Kajaria Ceramic ended up 2-13 per cent each.
Deepak Nitrite rallied 6 per cent to end at Rs 563 after the company said its board has recommended issuance of bonus shares in the ratio of one bonus equity share for every one equity share held in them company.
Canara Bank rose 6 per cent to end at Rs 304 after the bank said its net non-performing assets (NPA), as a percentage of total assets, declined to 1.98 per cent in March quarter from 2.39 per cent in the previous quarter ended December 2013.
The BSE Mid-cap index ended down 0.1 per cent and the Small-cap index ended down 0.5 per cent.
Market breadth was weak with 1,490 losers and 1,258 gainers on the BSE.