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NEW DELHI: Benchmark indices ended flat on Thursday after remaining rangebound for the most part of the session. This was in contrast to high volatility sessions generally observed on the day of expiry of monthly futures and options contracts.

Analysts noted that technical charts were hinting at a pause in momentum. Investors globally too were cautious ahead of the US Fed’s Jackson Hole symposium, they said.

For the day, Sensex stayed rangebound in the 258-point range and eventually closed at 55,949.10, up 5 points. NSE barometer Nifty50 settled Agust F&O series at 16,636.90, up 2.25 points. Midcap and smallcap indices gained half a per cent higher.

The performance was better than most Asian peers which ended up to 1 per cent lower. European stocks too were weak in the first few hours of trading.

“The commentary by the US Fed and news flows related to the third wave of the pandemic will remain a source of volatility and opportunity for the market. The primary market frenzy also seems to have waned a bit, with tepid listings of some recent IPOs, which should result in better liquidity support for the secondary market,” said Milind Muchhala, Executive Director at Julius Baer.

Reliance Industries gained 1.29 per cent to Rs 2,230.95. Mahindra & Mahindra advanced 1.18 per cent to Rs 781.35. HCL Tech, ICICI Bank and Axis Bank added up to 1.13 per cent.

Losers included Bharti Airtel, which fell 4.18 per cent to Rs 586.85. The second-largest telco’s board will meet on August 29 to consider and approve raising funds. Maruti Suzuki, Power Grid and SBI fell up to 1.6 per cent.

Four large-caps Avenue Supermarts, Godrej Properties, Tata Consumer and Hindustan Unilever hit their fresh 52-week highs for the day. Overall 158 stocks on BSE made their one-year highs during the day. A total of 391 stocks hit their respective higher circuit limits.

Ajit Mishra, VP for Research at Religare Broking said rotational buying in select index majors was helping the index maintain the positive bias and inch higher.

“However, the momentum is still missing due to the continuous underperformance of the banking index. Considering the scenario, we reiterate our view to restrict naked leveraged positions and prefer index majors over others,” Mishra said.

Vodafone Idea tanked 6.5 per cent to Rs 5.90. Swan Energy surged 12.44 per cent to Rs 146.85. Swan Energy starts its floating terminal, raising the country’s capacity to ship in the super-chilled fuel by 12 per cent to 47.5 million tonnes per annum (mtpa).


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