Sensex closes flat in choppy trade
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In choppy trade, the BSE benchmark Sensex today closed almost flat at 16,217.82 due to profit-booking in FMCG, oil and banking stocks after recent gains even as rupee continued its recovery for the second straight day against the US dollar.
The 30-share Sensex, which had gained 274.20 points in yesterday's trade, fell by 4.48 points. During the day, it swung between 16,118.35 and 16,273.48 points.
The 50-share NSE Nifty shed one point to close at 4,920.40 after moving between 4,935.80 and 4,889.35.
Besides, profit-booking by funds as well as retail investors after yesterday's gains, fresh selling in state-run oil marketing company stocks on speculations that the recent petrol price hike may be partially rolled back dampened the trading sentiments.
Brokers said after opening lower, markets staged a feeble comeback as rupee continued its recovery against the US dollar after the Reserve Bank indicated that it may sell dollars directly to oil companies. However, a late bout of selling wiped-off gains completely.
Meanwhile, rupee recovered to Rs 55.24 in intra-day session from yesterday's close of 55.65 after opening lower at Rs 56.02 and touched a low of Rs 56.07 in early trade.
Among oil company stocks, IOC fell by 2.05 per cent to Rs 265.35, HPCL by 1.68 per cent to Rs 300.50 and Oil India by 0.77 per cent to Rs 451.
Shares of RIL ended 0.64 per cent to Rs 692, while IT bellwether Infosys shed 0.20 per cent to Rs 2,372.
The auto sector stocks were again under pressure today with Maruti Suzuki losing 2.46 per cent to Rs 1,117.05, Mahindra and Mahindra shedding 2 per cent to Rs 638.15 and Bajaj Auto dropping 0.45 per cent to Rs 1,496.35.
Brokers said investors feared that the recent petrol hike may hit auto sales numbers.
Fertiliser company shares, however, attracted buying support on hopes that a timely arrival of the monsoon season would boost demand, dealers said.
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