Ahead of RBI policy review, Sensex ends flat; volatility rises

In see-saw trade ahead of RBI's monetary policy review on Tuesday, the BSE benchmark Senxex ended flat at 20,103.35, even as interest-rate-sensitive realty, auto and banking indices ended higher on hopes of a cut in key policy rates by the central bank.

The Sensex commenced higher at 20,172.45 on good buying support in rate sensitive shares, but soon dipped to a low of 20,062.79 points.

Finally, it ended at 20,103.35, 0.18 points lower than its last close. It had spurted by 179.75 points, or 0.90%, on Friday. The Sensex failed to hold on to its gains on profit-booking ahead of the expiry of the futures & options contract on coming Thursday.

However, the NSE 50-share Nifty edged up by 0.15 points to finish at 6,074.80. "Volatility was high ahead of RBI monetary policy... Investors booked profit after strong gains, showing caution at higher levels. Market breadth was positive and volumes were much lower than the last day," said Nidhi Sarswat, senior research analyst, Bonanza Portfolio. Buying was prominent in realty, auto and banking sectors, Sarswat added.

The BSE-Realty index rose 1.84%, BSE-Auto 1.03% and Bankex 0.68%. Shares of IT sectors, too, were in demand on good buying enquiries, while from refinery, consumer durable and capital goods declined on selling pressure.

Milan Bavishi of Inventure Growth & Securities said it was a see-saw session in markets ahead of the RBI's policy review on Tuesday. "The Street is expecting at least a 25-bps cut in benchmark rates." Of Sensex stocks, Tata Motors gained 2.49%, followed by Hero MotoCorp (1.84%), Hindalco (1.72%), Sterlite Ind (1.6%) and ICICI Bank (1.52%).

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