Markets end flat, HDFC Bank top drag

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The Nifty declined by 2.8 points (0.02%) to close at 15,106.5 while the Sensex fell 19.69 points (0.04%) to 51,309.39.The Nifty declined by 2.8 points (0.02%) to close at 15,106.5 while the Sensex fell 19.69 points (0.04%) to 51,309.39.

Stocks ended flat for the second straight session on Wednesday bucking the global trend which was largely positive, as investors continued to book profits after the strong post-Budget rally. The Nifty declined by 2.8 points (0.02%) to close at 15,106.5 while the Sensex fell 19.69 points (0.04%) to 51,309.39. The broader market, however, ended in the green, with the Nifty Midcap 100 and Nifty Smallcap 100 gaining 0.79% and 0.74%, respectively.

Index heavyweight HDFC Bank was the biggest laggard in the Sensex pack, shedding 1.77%, followed by Bharti Airtel, Axis Bank, ONGC, Nestle India, L&T, Infosys and SBI.

Globally, markets were upbeat and were rallying at the prospect of a swift fiscal stimulus from the US, declining Covid-19 cases and vaccine rollouts. The European markets were marginally up in early trade. The Asian markets, however, witnessed a strong session with the bourses in South Korea, China and Hong Kong rallying between 0.5% and 1.91%.

Foreign portfolio investors have poured in $3 billion into the Indian equity market so far in February. They purchased stocks worth $238.2 million, according to provisional data on the exchanges. Domestic institutional investors sold stocks worth $276 million on Wednesday.

Siddhartha Khemka, head – retail research, Motilal Oswal Financial Services, said: “With markets hitting multiple new highs and valuations largely factoring in an earnings recovery, one should trade cautiously with stock-specific actions and book profit intermittently.” In the near term, the markets would track key macroeconomic data like IIP, CPI and WPI data along with global cues.

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