Sensex ends rangebound session flat; NTPC spikes 4%

The BSE Sensex closed rangebound session on a flat note on Thursday due to lack of trigger globally and locally. The first two events of the current week that are Reserve Bank of India's first quarter monetary policy review and Federal Reserve's two-day meeting were completely non-event for the market.

The RBI had kept policy rates and cash reserve ratio unchanged on Tuesday, but raised inflation forecast to 7% from 6.5% for financial year 2012-13. The US Federal Reserve too kept Fed funds rate unchanged at 0.0%-0.25%, but they say, ''We will provide additional accommodation as needed to promote a stronger economic recovery.''

Now every market is waiting for the outcome of European Central Bank's rate decision - the last major event of the week - that will be announced at 17:15 hours IST. France's CAC, Germany's DAX and Britain's DAX (at 15:30 hours IST) gained around 0.5% each on hopes of some policy action by the ECB to give a boost to sluggish economy. Even the Dow Jones futures gained 57 points.

But traders looked cautious as they say the market will correct if the ECB does not deliver strong policy measures. Earlier ECB President Mario Draghi had said he would do everything that supports the euro.

Back home, the BSE benchmark fell 33.02 points to close at 17,224.36. Meanwhile, the NSE benchmark declined 12.75 points to 5227.75 after trading in a narrow range of 5210-5230 throughout the session.

Nifty in narrow range; SBI, ICICI, USL most active

Indian equity benchmarks continued to trade lower with a narrow range of 5210-5230 since early trade. State-owned power producer NTPC topped the buying list with gain of 3% whereas Sterlite Industries, Tata Motors and Cairn India tanked 2% each.

The 30-share BSE benchmark declined 68 points to 17,189.46 led by fall in 20 stocks. Meanwhile, the 50-share NSE benchmark fell 23.35 points to 5,217.15. The Indian rupee depreciated by 33 paise to 55.80 against the US dollar.

Country's largest oil & gas producers Reliance Industries and ONGC were down more than 1%. Lenders State Bank of India and HDFC Bank too declined over 1%.

Among metals, Tata Steel and Sterlite Industries dropped 1-2% whereas Jindal Steel rose over 1%.

Housing finance company HDFC, FMCG major Hindustan Unilever and software services exporter Infosys were down between 0.5% and 0.65%.

Cigarette major ITC went up nearly 1%. Engineering and construction major Larsen & Toubro and state-owned power equipment manufacturer BHEL moved up 0.6% each.

Most active shares on exchanges were NIIT Tech, NTPC, SBI, United Spirits (USL), ICICI Bank, L&T and Reliance Industries.

In the second line shares, Schneider Electric, Alstom T&D, Page Industries, GSFC and CRISIL gained 3-4% while NIIT Tech, Glodyne Tech, Shree Global, BASF and Religare Enterprises lost 3-6%.

European shares were mixed ahead of a key European Central Bank (ECB) meeting. Traders say the meeting must result in fresh stimulus measures to fight the region's sovereign debt crisis if equity markets are to avoid a sharp retreat.

Volatile Nifty trades lower; NTPC, Bharti, ITC outperform

The BSE Sensex and NSE Nifty continued to trade lower with marginal losses due to fall in oil & gas, banks and metals stocks. European markets were flat in early trade as traders remained cautious ahead of European Central Bank's rate decision that will be at 17:15 hours IST.

The 30-share BSE Sensex plummeted 82 points to 17,175.55 and the 50-share NSE Nifty declined 26 points to 5,214.20. The Indian rupee too went down by 30 paise to 55.77 against the US dollar.

Oil & gas producers Reliance Industries and ONGC fell more than 1%. Commercial vehicle majors Tata Motors and M&M slipped 1-2%.

Among lenders, State Bank of India and HDFC Bank dropped over 1% while ICICI Bank was down 0.4%.

Infosys, country's second largest software services exporter, lost 0.7% while its rival TCS gained 0.3%.

Among FMCG majors, ITC rose 0.4% whereas Hindustan Unilever declined 0.4%. Telecom operator Bharti Airtel went up nearly 1%.

State-owned power producer NTPC rallied 1.8% whereas private power producer Tata Power tumbled 1.6%.

In the second line shares, CRISIL, Bayer Cropscience, Britannia, Punj Lloyd and Novartis India rallied 2.5%-3.5% whereas Shree Global, NIIT Tech, Glodyne Tech, Religare Enterprises and BASF lost 3%-6%.

Most active shares on exchanges were NIIT Tech, NTPC, SBI, United Spirits, ITC, ICICI Bank, Reliance Industries and Larsen & Toubro.

Sensex, Nifty remain under pressure on profit booking

Indian equity benchmarks remained under pressure due to profit booking. The market had rallied nearly 600 points in previous four sessions on hopes of some monetary measures by Federal Reserve to revive sluggish US growth and some policy action by European Central Bank (ECB). However, Fed has kept rates unchanged yesterday and not announced any new policy steps, but signalled more willingness to take action.

On Tuesday, the Reserve Bank of India also had not changed any policy rates in its quarterly monetary policy review due to inflation above RBI's comfort level of 7%, which was also quite disappointing for the market.

Now globally every market is waiting for ECB's move that will happen around 17:15 hours IST today. Traders looked cautious as hopes of stimulus action by ECB thinned.

The BSE benchmark fell 93.53 points to 17,163.85 and the NSE benchmark was down 28 points to 5,212.20.

Country's largest lender State Bank of India and private sector lender HDFC Bank tanked 1.5% each while their rival ICICI Bank was down 0.4%.

Index heavyweight Reliance Industries, housing finance company HDFC and software services exporter Infosys and state-owned oil & gas producer lost 0.6%-1%.

Top commercial vehicle maker Tata Motors plunged more than 2%. Among others, shares of Tata Steel, Sterlite, M&M, Coal India and Tata Power were down 1-2%.

However, shares of ITC, Bharti, L&T, JSPL, TCS and Dr Reddy's Labs gained 0.2%-0.7%. NTPC, country's largest power generation company, rose 1.7%.

The broader markets were flat as the market breadth was neutral.

Choppy Sensex falls over 50 pts; SBI, HDFC Bank down 1%

Indian shares remained marginally lower due to selling in State Bank of India and Tata Motors. HDFC Bank, HDFC, ONGC and Infosys too were under pressure. However, the buying in Bharti, L&T, ICICI Bank and ITC has capped the downside.

The BSE benchmark slipped 51 points to 17,206 and the NSE benchmark was down 16.55 points to 5,224. The Indian rupee too declined 25 paise to 55.72 against the US dollar.

Hemant Thukral of Aditya Birla Money sees Nifty hovering in the broader range of 5,050- 5,350. However, he feels that it would be difficult for Nifty to retest highs of 5,300 and 5,350 in a hurry.

"The 5,400 call writer is getting very aggressive on daily basis.  An open interest of 65 lakh shares is added up on that strike price, so that will be quite difficult" he elaborated.

Asian shares too declined as investors turned increasingly cautious as hopes of stimulus action by central banks thinned ahead of a European Central Bank's meeting later in the day and after the US Federal Reserve took no action a day earlier. Shanghai, Hang Seng, Straits Times and Kospi were down 0.3%-0.7% while Nikkei rose just 0.4%.

Back home, country's largest lender State Bank of India went down 1% while its rival HDFC Bank declined 1% too. Housing finance company HDFC lost 0.7% whereas private sector lender ICICI Bank gained 0.2%.

Top commercial vehicle maker Tata Motors fell 1.5% and state-owned oil & gas producer ONGC dropped 1%.

Coal India, country's largest coal mining company, lost another 1.5% after yesterday's 3% fall due to the company agreed to supply at least 80% of the coal needed to fuel new power projects.

Software services exporter Infosys was down 0.5% whereas its rival TCS gained 0.2%.

State-owned power producer NTPC rallied 1.5%. Telecom operator Bharti Airtel was up 0.8% and engineering and construction major Larsen & Toubro moved up 0.4%.