Mumbai, March 14 (IANS) Macroeconomic data that showed an easing inflation, along with a sharp recovery in banking stocks, helped the key Indian indices to trim their losses and close Wednesday's trade on a flat note with marginal losses.
According to market observers, the indices were pulled into the negative territory during the day by weak cues from the Asian markets and selling pressure.
On a closing basis, the wider Nifty50 of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) fell by 15.95 points, or 0.15 per cent, to 10,410.90 points.
The barometer 30-scrip Sensitive Index (Sensex) of the BSE closed at 33,835.74 points -- down 21.04 points, or 0.06 per cent.
The BSE market breadth was bearish with 1,416 declines and 1,267 advances.
"Nifty ended with marginal losses on Wednesday despite a sharp recovery from the lows of the day. Weak Asian markets impacted sentiments," Deepak Jasani, Head - Retail Research, HDFC Securities, told IANS.
In terms of the broader markets, the S&P BSE mid-cap index edged up by 0.28 per cent and the small-cap index by 0.06 per cent.
Vinod Nair, Head of Research, Geojit Financial Services, said: "Market traded range bound due to a mixed trend in the global markets but recouped the losses as banking stocks outperformed due to improvement in financial market liquidity."
"Ease in February WPI (Wholesale price index) inflation to 2.48 per cent will further provide support to the market while any escalation in global risk may lead investors to stay cautious," he added.
Data released during market hours revealed that WPI inflation in India softened during February marginally at 2.48 per cent primarily due to lower fuel and food prices.
On the currency front, the Indian rupee strengthened by seven paise to close at 64.83 against the US dollar from its previous close at 64.90.
In terms of investments, provisional data with the exchanges showed that foreign institutional investors sold scrips worth Rs 258.98 crore and domestic institutional investors worth Rs 432.03 crore.
Sectorwise, the S&P BSE oil and gas index fell by 146.14 points, followed by metal index by 69.31 points and FMCG index by 29.22 points.
On the other hand, the S&P BSE banking index rose by 155.33 points, consumer durables index by 69.34 points and IT by 30.62 points.
Major Sensex gainers on Wednesday were: Yes Bank, up 1.85 per cent at Rs 318.90; Maruti Suzuki, up 0.99 per cent at Rs 8,839.85; Axis Bank, up 0.89 per cent at Rs 535.55; State Bank of India, up 0.82 per cent at Rs 257; and ICICI Bank, up 0.77 per cent at Rs 306.35.
The Sensex losers were: Hero MotoCorp, down 1.78 per cent at Rs 3,635.45; ONGC, down 1.53 per cent at Rs 180.60; Tata Steel, down 1.25 per cent at Rs 620.45; HDFC, down 0.91 per cent at Rs 1,846.30; and Bajaj Auto, down 0.85 per cent at Rs 2,948.85.