Equity indices trade flat, PSU banks in focus

Equity benchmark indices saw a flattish opening during early hours on Wednesday as global markets awaited the outcome of US Senate runoff elections in Georgia that will likely shape fiscal policy in the President-elect Joe Biden administration.

At 10:15 am, the BSE S&P Sensex was down by 72 points or 0.15 per cent at 48,366 while the Nifty 50 slipped up by 13 points or 0.09 per cent to 14,187.

However, except for Nifty FMCG and pharma, all sectoral indices at the National Stock Exchange were in the positive terrain with Nifty PSU bank gaining by 1.8 per cent, IT by 0.7 per cent and auto by 0.5 per cent.

Among stocks, energy major ONGC gained by 3.6 per cent to Rs 98.35 per share while GAIL advanced by 3.7 per cent to Rs 134.10.

The other gainers were State Bank of India, ICICI Bank, Britannia, Maruti Suzuki, Titan and Bharti Airtel.

Among those which lost were index heavyweight Reliance Industries which dipped by 0.7 per cent to Rs 1,951.90 per share.

FMCG majors ITC and Hindustan Unilever along with Axis Bank, Bajaj Finance and Bajaj Finserv too were in the negative terrain.

Meanwhile, global stock prices slipped as investors braced for the prospect that Democrats could win both races in a US Senate run-off election in Georgia, handing them control of the crucial chamber.

Japan’s Nikkei fell by 0.4 per cent while MSCI’s index of Asia Pacific excluding Japan erased earlier gains to stand almost flat.

Shanghai stocks extended gains with the CSI300 index rising by 0.5 per cent to reach its best levels since 2008.

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