Mumbai, April 27 (IANS) Value buying, along with healthy quarterly results and rising crude oil prices, marginally buoyed the Indian equity markets on Wednesday.
The gains were, however, capped due to the logjam in parliament and caution ahead of US monetary policy review which led the key indices of the Indian equity markets to close flat -- marginally up.
The wider 50-scrip Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) inched up 17.25 points or 0.22 percent, at 7,979.90 points.
The barometer 30-scrip sensitive index (Sensex) of the BSE, which opened at 25,956.42 points, closed at 26,064.12 points -- up 56.82 points or 0.22 percent from the previous close at 26,007.30 points.
The Sensex touched a high of 26,092.93 points and a low of 25,885.24 points during the intra-day trade.
In contrast, the BSE market breadth was slightly tilted in favour of the bears -- with 1,320 declines and 1,272 advances.
On Tuesday, both the key Indian indices had ended on a higher note. The barometer index had gained 328 points or 1.28 percent, while the NSE Nifty had risen by 108 points or 1.37 percent.
Initially on Wednesday, the key indices opened on a negative note in-sync with their Asian peers.
Investors were seen cautious ahead of the US FOMC (US federal open market committee) meet and the Bank of Japan's (BoJ) monetary policy review.
The US FOMC meet assumes significance as it will decide the future course of the US interest rates. A hike in interest rates is expected to lead away Foreign Portfolio Investors (FPIs) from emerging markets such as India.
Besides, unwinding of long positions a day ahead of the futures and options (F&O) expiry dented sentiments.
Even the ongoing logjam in parliament dampened sentiments. Investors worried that the logjam might postpone key economic legislation from getting passed.
However, the equity markets pared their initial losses, as value buying at lower levels and healthy fourth quarter (Q4) results lifted prices.
In addition, rising crude oil prices supported the equity markets' upward movement.
"Follow through buying from yesterday's rally and the healthy quarterly results lifted prices. Rising oil prices also supported the uptrend," Anand James, chief market strategist, Geojit BNP Paribas Financial Services, told IANS.
"However, investors were cautious ahead of several event risks like the FOMC meet, BoJ's monetary policy review and the F&O expiry. Parliament's logjam also dampened sentiments."
According to Vaibhav Agarwal, vice president and research head at Angel Broking, FMCG (fast moving consumer goods), banks and oil and gas stocks lend support to the equity markets.
"In overseas stock markets -- Asian stocks declined as traders awaited policy decisions from the US Fed and the BoJ," Agarwal said.
"F&O expiry will also be a key trigger for this week."
The foreign institutional investors (FIIs) continued to be net buyers during the day's trade, whereas domestic institutional investors (DIIs) were net sellers.
The data with stock exchanges showed that FIIs invested Rs.411 crore in stocks, while the DIIs sold Rs.295.07 crore worth of scrip.
Sector-wise, healthy buying was witnessed in oil and gas, FMCG and automobile stocks.
However, banking, capital goods and finance scrip came under selling pressure.
The S&P BSE oil and gas index gained 115.79 points, followed by the FMCG index, which rose by 78.81 points and automobile index edged higher by 56.08 points.
The S&P BSE banking index receded by 169.35 points, followed by the capital goods index which declined by 32.57 points and the heathcare index edged lower by 21.02 points.
Major Sensex gainers during Wednesday's trade were Adani Ports, up 5.09 percent at Rs.240.75; Bharti Airtel, up 3.54 percent at Rs.373.15; ONGC, up 3.41 percent at Rs.221.65; Gail, up 2.64 percent at Rs.373.15; and Mahindra and Mahindra (M&M), up 2.20 percent at Rs.1,384.80.
Major Sensex losers during the day's trade were ICICI Bank, down 3.66 percent at Rs.244.80; Axis Bank, down 3.11 percent at Rs.465.50; State Bank of India (SBI), down 2.17 percent at Rs.196.50; BHEL, down 0.89 percent at Rs.127.95, and Tata Steel, down 0.50 percent at Rs.356.60.