Equities end flat as investors await Karnataka results

Inflation data will be released later today.

Benchmark indices surrendered early gains to end little changed today as wary investors shied away from making fresh bets ahead of Karnataka poll results.

Lacklustre macroeconomic data added to the cautious mood, brokers said.

Karnataka assembly election results will be declared tomorrow, with most exit polls predicting a tight race between the ruling Congress and the BJP.

On the macro front, wholesale inflation rose to a four-month high of 3.18 per cent in April, while industrial output growth fell to a five-month low of 4.4 per cent in March.

The BSE Sensex, after a better start at 35,555.83, advanced to hit a high of 35,642.72 amid positive cues from other Asian bourses.

However, emergence of selling at every rise wiped off initial gains and the index finally settled 20.92 points, or 0.06 per cent higher at 35,556.71.

The broader 50-issue NSE Nifty edged up just 0.10 points to close at 10,806.60, after shuttling between 10,834.85 and 10,774.75.

Meanwhile, domestic institutional investors (DIIs) bought shares worth a net Rs 1,163.35 crore, while foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) sold equities to the tune of Rs 325.44 crore on Friday, as per provisional data.

"Market traded range bound...ahead of tomorrow's Karnataka state election verdict and CPI inflation data later in the day.

"WPI inflation accelerated to 3.18 per cent in April due to surge in fuel and food prices which may have a negative impact on CPI inflation... Consequently, rupee and bond yield will continue to witness volatility," said Vinod Nair, Head of Research, Geojit Financial Services.

Meanwhile, shares of state-run oil marketing companies rose after the PSUs announced a hike in fuel prices.

Petrol price was hiked by Rs 0.17 per litre and diesel by Rs 0.21 as public sector oil marketing companies passed on the spike witnessed in international crude oil prices on consumers.

BPCL moved up 0.90 per cent, HPCL 0.74 per cent and OIL 0.49 per cent. However, Indian Oil Corporation fell 0.38 per cent.

NTPC was the biggest gainer in the Sensex pack, rising 2.51 per cent, followed by Dr Reddy's at 1.24 per cent.

Other gainers were IndusInd Bank 1.07 per cent, SBI 0.98 per cent, Hero MotoCorp 0.94 per cent, Power Grid 0.89 per cent, Infosys 0.,73 per cent, Asian Paints 0.69 per cent, Tata Steel 0.57 per cent, HDFC Bank 0.52 per cent, Bajaj Auto 0.52 per cent, HDFC Ltd 0.51 per cent, Sun Pharma 0.47 per cent, Kotak Bank 0.28 per cent, ITC Ltd 0.19 per cent and ONGC 0.08 per cent.

However, M&M fell 2.17 per cent, Tata Motors 2 per cent, Yes Bank 1.51 per cent, Bharti Airtel 1.09 per cent, Adani Ports 0.94 per cent, TCS 0.69 per cent, Coal India 0.50 per cent, L&T 0.48 per cent, ICICI Bank 0.37 per cent, RIL 0.37 per cent, Maruti Suzuki 0.26 per cent and Axis Bank 0.17 per cent.

In sectoral terms, the BSE bankex gained 0.17 per cent, oil and gas 0.15 per cent and PSU 0.11 per cent.

On the other hand, consumer durables fell 2.50 per cent, auto 0.93 per cent, capital goods 0.81 per cent, realty 0.53 per cent, infrastructure 0.50 per cent, teck 0.26 per cent, power 0.25 per cent, FMCG 0.24 per cent, IT 0.20 per cent, metal 0.19 per cent and healthcare 0.12 per cent.

The broader markets too were under pressure as investors trimmed their portfolios, pulling down the small-cap index by 1 per cent and mid-cap by 0.88 per cent.

Globally, Asian markets mostly ended higher, with Hong Kong's Hang Seng up 1.35 per cent, while Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.34 per cent and Japan's Nikkei 0.47 per cent.

European stocks were trading lower as investors focused on trade relations between the US and China as well as a dip in oil prices.

Paris CAC 40 shed 0.20 per cent and Frankfurt fell 0.19 per cent. UK's FTSE declined 0.08 per cent in early trade. 

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Equities end flat as investors await Karnataka results

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