Mumbai, Jan 11: The BSE benchmark Sensex today ended flat as investors adopted a cautious approach ahead of IT bellwether Infosys's third quarter earnings, latest food inflation numbers and IIP data, which will be out tomorrow.
After surging over 350 points yesterday, the 30-share Sensex saw choppy trade today before settling at 16,175.86, a mere 10.77 points up from its previous close.
Brokers said the market sentiment remained jittery a day before the beginning of earnings season, while some buying in fundamentally strong stocks cushioned every fall in markets.
Market leader RIL rallied by 1.80 per cent, helping key index to end the day in the in positive terrain. Hindalco, Tata Steel, Sterlite, SBI, ICICI Bank too were in demand. However, selling pressure in IT stocks Infosys, TCS and Wipro overshadowed the gains.
Analysts expected a rise in the net profit of Infosys in rupee terms, but are concerned over the economic crisis in developed countries which contribute a major part of its revenue.
Tier II stocks attracted heavy investment buying interest at lower levels from retail investors and as a result BSE Smallcap at 1.32 per cent and BSE-Midcap at 1.00 per cent outperformed the Sensex.
Retailer companies like Pantloon, Shopper Stop, Trent, V2 Retails and Kouton Retails rallied after the government yesterday notified 100 per cent FDI in single brand companies.
The 50-share Nifty of NSE moved up by 11.40 points cent to end at 4,860.95.
Largest software services exporter TCS was the top loser from the Sensex pack at 2.54 per cent, while Infosys dipped by 1.29 per cent.
Among the other big losers, Jindal Steel fell by 2.16 per cent, followed by M&M at 1.60 per cent, Bharti Airtel 1.54 per cent and Cipla 1.53 per cent.
Realty, metal, banking and refinery counters were in the limelight while IT and Tech stocks suffered the most.
A possibility of cut in interest rates by the central bank in the monetary policy meeting on January 24 helped the realty and banking counters rally.
Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs) injected Rs 405.20 crore yesterday as per Sebi data.
Meanwhile, Asian markets were mixed. Key indices from Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore and Taiwan ended in the green while from China and South Korea finished in the red.
From Europe, the Dax and FTSE were quoting weak while the CAC was trading better in their afternoon deals.
The total market breadth continued to remain in the positive terrain as 1,868 stocks finished with gains while 951 stocks ended with losses. The total turnover moved up moderately to Rs 2,620.59 crore from Rs 2,555.43 crore yesterday.