Equities trade flat; banks, auto stocks slip

Mumbai: Key Indian equity indices traded on a flat-to-negative note during the mid-afternoon trade session on Thursday with selling pressure observed in capital goods, banking and auto stocks.

The key indices had opened on a higher note following the US Federal Reserve’s raising the benchmark interest rate by 25 basis points, signalling two more rate hikes in 2018.

Around 1.07 p.m., the wider Nifty50 of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) was trading lower by 9.10 points or 0.09 per cent at 10,146.15 points.

The barometer 30-scrip Sensitive Index (Sensex) of the BSE, which opened at 33,206.99 points, was trading at 33,100.01 points — down 36.17 points or 0.11 per cent from the previous session’s close.

The Sensex had so far touched a high of 33,281.77 points and a low of 33,098.30 points during the intra-day trade.

The BSE market breadth was bearish with 1,833 declines and 715 advances.

ICICI Bank, Mahindra and Mahindra, State Bank of India, Wipro and Yes Bank were the top losers on the BSE.

“Indian shares opened higher Thursday after Federal Reserve maintained other two-rate hikes for 2018 after hiking key lending rates by 25 bps. Also, continued foreign institutional investors’ fund inflows will support local equities to trade higher,” Dhruv Desai, Director and Chief Operating Officer of Tradebulls, told IANS.

On Wednesday, value buying pushed the key indices higher even as some gains were ceded on caution ahead of the US Federal Reserve’s FOMC (Federal Open Market Committee) meet.

The Sensex closed the day’s trade at 33,136.18 points — up 139.42 points or 0.42 per cent – while the Nifty50 gained 30.90 points, or 0.31 per cent, to close at 10,155.25 points.