Profit booking subdues equity markets

Mumbai: The Indian equity markets traded flat during the mid-afternoon session on Thursday. The key indices were depressed due to profit booking, negative global cues and caution over the upcoming macro-economic data.  Heavy selling pressure was witnessed in automobile, metal and capital goods stocks. The wider 51-scrip Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) inched down by 15.45 points or 0.18 per cent to 8,559.85 points. Similarly, the barometer 30-scrip sensitive index (Sensex) of the BSE traded flat. It opened at 27,805.94 points, traded at 27,775.29 points (at 1.45 p.m.) from the previous close at 27,774.88 points. The Sensex has so far touched a high of 27,902.39 points and a low of 27,697.33 points during the intra-day trade. The BSE market breadth was skewed in favour of the bears -- with 1,514 declines and 993 advances. On Wednesday, the benchmark indices had closed deep in the red due to profit booking, negative global cues and caution over upcoming quarterly results. The barometer index had plunged by 310.28 points or 1.10 per cent to 27,774.88 points, while the Nifty fell by 102.95 points or 1.19 per cent to 8,575.30 points. "The equity markets receded as a result of profit booking that were triggered after the key indices had made initial gains," Anand James, Chief Market Strategist at Geojit BNP Paribas Financial Services, told IANS. "Other factors like caution over the upcoming macro-economic data and banking sector results also weighed heavy on the equity markets." According to Dhruv Desai, Director and Chief Operating Officer of Tradebulls, banking and pharma stocks traded with mixed sentiments.  "IT stocks faced profit booking at higher levels. Auto stocks, too, traded down, while aviation and FMCG stocks also lost their initial gains," Desai noted. "Bearish crude oil prices likely to provide support to aviation stocks at lower levels. Firm USD/INR prices likely to pressurise the price movement of Nifty."