Sensex closes flat; broader indices outperform

The benchmark Sensex closed the session on a flat note and shrugged off positive global cues. Selling in heavyweights like Reliance Industries, BHEL, SBI and ICICI Bank along with HDFC Bank, Wipro, Hindalco, Sterlite Industries and Reliance Infrastructure erased gains in the last couple of hours.

However, the markets turned highly volatile because buying remained in power, telecom, realty, auto and select technology stocks along with SAIL, Axis Bank, PNB, Grasim and ONGC, which helped the indices to limit the losses to major extent.

Shrikant Chouhan of Kotak Securities expects the rangebound markets for next 10-15 days. "Broadly we are expecting range bound movement for next 10-15 days and the range should be between 18,000 on the higher side and 17,000 on the lower side on the Sensex. If we look at Nifty, the higher side we can expect 5,400 and maybe 5,100 or 5,050 on the lower side", he has said.

The 30-share BSE Sensex closed at 17,526.71, down 13.58 points, after seeing a trading range of 17,500.79-17,776.57. However, the 50-share NSE Nifty touched an intraday high of 5,287.20 and low of 5,227.80, before closing at 5,249.40, up 4.65 points.

Global cues remained positive throughout the session. European markets were trading 0.9% higher and US index futures were up 0.45% each, at the time of closing of Indian equities. Asian markets also ended higher. Shanghai, Hang Seng, Taiwan Weighted, Jakarta and Straits Times gained 0.4-0.7%. Kospi was flat.

The broader indices outperformed the benchmark indices today as well; especially the Smallcap Index rallied for the 12th consecutive session, up 1.8%. The BSE Midcap Index rose 0.9%.