Markets end on flat note amid muted trade, Sensex at 79,960 points

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Mumbai: Stock market benchmark indices Sensex and Nifty ended almost flat on Monday amid a lacklusture trade as investors preferred to stay on the sidelines in the absence of any fresh trigger.

Weak cues from Asian markets also added to the muted trend in domestic equities.

After beginning the trade on a weak note, the 30-share BSE Sensex declined 36.22 points or 0.05 per cent to settle at 79,960.38. During the day, it went lower by 264.77 points or 0.33 per cent to 79,731.83.

The NSE Nifty dipped 3.30 points or 0.01 per cent to 24,320.55.

Among the Sensex pack, Titan, Adani Ports, Tata Steel, JSW Steel, UltraTech Cement, Asian Paints, Mahindra & Mahindra and Bajaj Finserv were the biggest laggards.

ITC, Hindustan Unilever, Nestle, HCL Technologies and Tata Motors were among the gainers.

"The market is turning to a consolidation phase due to the absence of major triggers to support the current premium valuation in the near term, prompting investors to book some profits. The earnings season is around the corner, and the initial expectation is subdued," said Vinod Nair, Head of Research, Geojit Financial Services.

In the broader market, the BSE smallcap gauge declined 0.22 per cent while midcap dipped 0.14 per cent.

Among the indices, consumer durables tanked 1.46 per cent, metal (0.80 per cent), telecommunication (0.78 per cent), services (0.69 per cent), auto (0.63 per cent) and consumer discretionary (0.53 per cent).

Energy, capital goods, oil & gas, IT and teck were the winners.

"Due to lack of any fresh trigger, markets witnessed a range-bound session throughout the day and ended marginally weak owing to select profit-taking in banking, telecom and realty shares. Weak Asian cues also weighed on sentiment, while stretched valuations could see investors maintain caution for sometime," Prashanth Tapse, Senior VP (Research), Mehta Equities Ltd, said.

In Asian markets, Seoul, Tokyo, Shanghai and Hong Kong settled lower.

European markets were trading in the positive territory. US markets ended with gains on Friday.

In a volatile session on Friday, the broader NSE Nifty continued its record-breaking run and inched up 21.70 points or 0.09 per cent to close at its lifetime high of 24,323.85. The BSE benchmark, however, dropped 53.07 points or 0.07 per cent to settle at 79,996.60.

Global oil benchmark Brent crude declined 0.97 per cent to USD 85.70 a barrel.

Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs) bought equities worth Rs 1,241.33 crore on Friday, according to exchange data.

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