Mumbai, Aug 25 (IANS) Indian equity markets traded flat during the mid-afternoon session on Thursday, as global cues stayed mixed ahead of an important speech by Fed Reserve Chair and caution prevailed ahead of derivatives expiry.
Consequently, the key indices traded on a flat note with a negative bias, as heavy selling pressure was witnessed in information technology (IT), automobile and metal stocks.
The wider 51-scrip Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) slipped by 8.40 points, or 0.10 per cent to 8,641.90 points.
The barometer 30-scrip sensitive index (Sensex) of the BSE, which opened at 28,103.60 points, traded at 28,003.80 points (at 2.00 p.m.) — down 56.14 points, or 0.20 per cent from the previous close at 28,059.94 points.
The Sensex has so far touched a high of 28,154.21 points and a low of 27,958 points during the intra-day trade.
The BSE market breadth was tilted in favour of the bears — with 1,307 declines and 1,260 advances.
On Wednesday, both the key Indian indices had closed on a flat-to-positive note, despite mixed global cues and lower crude oil prices.
The barometer index had risen by 69.73 points or 0.25 per cent, while the NSE Nifty edged up 17.70 points, or 0.21 per cent.
Initially on Thursday, the benchmark indices opened on a positive note, in spite of mixed cues from their Asian peers and negative US markets.
However, later in the day, the markets traded with apprehension as caution prevailed ahead of Yellen’s speech on Friday — a pointer to a possible interest rate hike in the US, which can potentially lead FPIs (Foreign Portfolio Investors) away from emerging markets such as India.
In addition, the key indices experienced some volatility ahead of futures and options (F&O) expiry and capped gains.
Nevertheless, a strong rupee and healthy foreign fund inflows kept the market spirits slightly buoyed.
“The markets are much more lively today than the last couple of days. They opened on a positive note, but are largely flat although some movement was seen earlier in the day,” Anand James, Chief Market Strategist at Geojit BNP Paribas Financial Services, told IANS.
“The global cues are mostly mixed as the investors are eyeing on Yellen’s speech. Also, we have a strong rupee. Hopes sustain of a higher close of the markets.”