Mumbai: Markets were barely changed on Monday, amid subdued Asian peers, with uncertainty about the fate of US debt talks triggering a new round of risk aversion, at a time when euro zone debt jitters already weighed.
Financials and metal makers advanced, while software stocks traded in the red.
At 12:06pm, the 30-share BSE index was up 0.03% at 18,567.69 points, with 19 components advancing, in flip-flop trade. It had fallen 1.6% last week.
“With the debt issues popping up in the US, things have turned uncertain. Let us see how the situation unfolds,” said Deven Choksey, managing director and CEO of KR Choksey Shares.
With five days remaining before President Barack Obama’s deadline for a deal to raise the US debt ceiling, Republicans and Democrats have yet to agree on a big plan to cut the world’s largest economy’s deficit and raise its debt limit in time to avoid an unprecedented US default.
“Europe is also dealing with its issues, which is a known fact,” Choksey added.
Foreign funds have invested a net of $2.6 billion in Indian equities since 23 June, as economic woes in the developed world, have prompted them to shift focus towards emerging economies.
But dealers said it was just a shift of funds, while the overall risk appetite tapered off.
The 50-share NSE index was down 0.03% at 5,579.35 points.
Market breadth was positive with gainers more than double the number of losers on the NSE, where 185 million shares changed hands.
Lenders advanced with the banking sector index rebounding 0.2% after declining 0.5% last week.
Top lender State Bank of India and private lender HDFC Bank rose 0.2% and 0.9% respectively. Leading private lender ICICI Bank bucked the trend and shed 0.4%.
Bajaj Auto gained 0.5% after the automaker said late Friday its project to develop four wheelers for Nissan Motor Co and partner Renault SA was on track.
Metal makers Sterlite Industries and Hindalco gained 0.6% and 2.6% respectively as base metal prices firmed in international trade.
London copper edged up extending modest gains from the previous session, as supply risks supported the metal even as the outlook for the global economy and demand remained shaky.
Software firms led the decline, with the IT sector index trading 0.6% lower, after shedding more than 5% last week on concerns over the global economy.
Sector leaders Tata Consultancy Services and Infosys were down 1.4% and 0.4% respectively.
The MSCI’s measure of Asian markets other than Japan were down 0.6%, while Japanese markets were closed for a public holiday.
Rolta India slipped 0.8% to Rs 126.50, as the technology firm said it has acquired ACLS Systems, FZC, a public system and emergency response software company, through a complete asset purchase.
India Glycols gained 1.8% to Rs 156.75, after it reported a net profit of Rs 257.7 million for June quarter, as against a loss of Rs 76.9 million a year ago, two dealers said.