Mumbai: Stock markets closed little changed on Thursday as blue chips consolidated, reflecting the turmoil in global shares and FII capital outflows. Though the opening was strong, investors subsequently took profit off the table, worried about fast-changing developments involving North Korea. In the end, the gains turned out to be only marginal.

“Blue-chips have been consolidating in the last one month in line with the havoc in the global market and outflows in FII money. But undercurrent is strong as shown by the positive return and outperformance of mid and small cap," said Vinod Nair, Head of Research, Geojit Financial Services.

The broader NSE Nifty ended up 13.70 points, or 0.14%, at 9,929.90, after moving between 9,964.85 and 9,917.20. The benchmark Sensex scaled the day’s high of 31,814.96, taking positive leads from Asian markets. But it succumbed to selling pressure mid-afternoon before settling at 31,662.74, up 0.77 point. The gauge had lost 148 points in the previous session.

“The underline is that market is hoping for a strong pick-up in earnings growth by H2 FY18, which is the fillip to go beyond current level," Nair added. Buying by domestic institutional investors (DIIs) kept a big fall at bay despite capital outflows by foreign funds. The rupee offered some relief, trading higher against the dollar during the day.

M&M was the star of the day among Sensex components rallying 2.02%, followed by Bajaj Auto (1.37%). Other bright spots include Dr Reddy’s, Sun Pharma and Hero MotoCorp. The BSE metal index was sectorally most active, with a gain of 1.41%. Auto, realty, capital goods too ended in positive territory. Broader markets put up a good show, with mid-cap and and small-cap indices advancing up to 0.76%.

Foreign funds remained stubborn in selling shares net Rs1,353.02 crore. But domestic investors net purchased Rs51.57 crore of shares on Wednesday, according to provisional figures. Reliance Industries fell 0.41% to close at Rs818.90 after the stock adjusted for the bonus issue. Key European indices traded firm.

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