Mumbai: The market closed on a flat note looking cautious ahead of the second tranche of long term refinancing operation (LTRO) by European Central Bank to be announced after 15:45 hours IST. The market was quite strong since morning, but disappointing FY12 Q3 GDP data and cautious mood ahead of LTRO spoiled the bulls' party in last couple of hours of trade.
The Sensex touched an intraday high of 18,001.35 and low of 17,677.97, before closing up just 9.13 points at 17,740.25. The Nifty rose 9.7 points, to close at 5,385.20 after hitting a high of 5,458.80 and low of 5,352.25 during the day.
Analysts expect second LTRO package of about euro 500 billion. To a large extent, Amit Dalal, Executive Director, Tata Investment Corporation feels the news itself is discounted with the global markets having rallied already if it comes in line.
For India, however, the incremental flows will definitely keep the market going. "There is steam left in this rally both in terms of time and value essentially because liquidity conditions are becoming more and friendlier towards perhaps a technical upsurge in asset prices worldwide," he added.
India's economy grew at its slowest pace in more than two years during last quarter of 2011 as high interest rates and booming input costs hampered manufacturing activity. Gross domestic product grew at an annual 6.1 per cent in Q3 versus CNBC-TV18's poll of 6.25 per cent.
Economist Radhika Rao says "Q4 (2011) GDP came in slightly weaker than consensus, though not entirely surprising. Initial growth estimates for this FY had signaled that the agricultural output remained weak, though moderation in the manufacturing sector was likely the starkest as higher input prices and sharp jump in borrowing costs depressed output."
Oil & gas, power and metals stocks supported the market while private banks and capital goods weighed down.
Shares of ONGC gained 3.35 per cent ahead of offer for sale of shares via auction route on the BSE tomorrow. Government fixed floor price at Rs 290/share while today it closed at Rs 293 a share.
Index heavyweight Reliance Industries rose 2 per cent; Bharti Airtel was up 1.6 per cent and SBI gained 0.8 per cent.
Tata Steel, Wipro, Tata Power and Sterlite Industries were among top five biggest gainers, rising 3-3.6 per cent.
However, shares of L&T fell over 3 per cent after reports that the company may not get any units from NTPC's order worth Rs 16,000 crore for 11x660 MW. BHEL lost 0.8 per cent on profit booking; but BGR Energy gained 9.5 per cent as it was the lowest bidder for this order. Reports suggest that BGR is likely to get maximum units.
HDFC, ITC and Jindal Steel were down 1.5-2 per cent. HDFC, ICICI Bank, TCS, Tata Motors, Hero Motocorp and Maruti fell 0.5-0.9 per cent.
Kingfisher Airlines went up 1 per cent on reports that the company will meet lenders at 4 pm today.
Standard Chartered IDR rallied over 3 per cent after better than expected full year earnings by parent company Standard Chartered Plc. The company reported a net income of USD 4.85 billion in 2011, a growth of 12 per cent as compared to USD 4.33 billion in previous year.
The market breadth was moderately positive; about 1593 shares advanced while 1283 shares declined on the BSE.