Mumbai: Key stock indices Sensex and Nifty on Monday rode out sharp fluctuations, but closed flat, with realty, metal and power stocks saving the day for them. Risk appetite took a back seat, reflecting mixed Asian shares on lingering concerns about American tax reforms, traders said.

The market struggled for direction as the 30-share Sensex resumed on a high, but soon slipped on profit-taking, before settling up 17.10 points, or 0.05%, at 33,359.90. The index had risen 582.36 points in the last two sessions after Moody’s Investors Service upgraded India’s sovereign rating. The Nifty, after moving between 10,309.85 and 10,261.50 on alternate bouts of selling and buying, finished at 10,298.75, with paltry gains of 15.15 points, or 0.15%.

Domestic institutional investors were net buyers as they bought shares worth Rs1,466.94 crore on Friday. Foreign portfolio investors also bought Rs1,276.62 crore, provisional data showed.

“Weak global cues remained a drag earlier in the day, but expectation of more positive measures along GST (goods and service tax) rates, this time on consumer durables, held markets afloat. Real estate sector continued to attract investor’s attention against the backdrop of the Cabinet’s decision to relax interest rate subsidy criterion under the CLSS scheme," said Anand James, chief market strategist, Geojit Financial Services.

Coal India climbed the most by 1.98%, followed by NTPC, ONGC, Kotak Bank and RIL, in that order. However, Dr Reddy’s, ICICI Bank, SBI, Cipla, Infosys and M&M, ended with losses, falling by up to 2.05% on profit booking.

In the BSE sectoral pool, realty stayed on top, up 2.22%, followed by metal, infrastructure and power. IT, technology and banking indices ended in the red. Broader markets beat the benchmarks, with the small-cap index firming up 0.81% and mid-cap 0.63%.

Asian shares ended mixed on growing doubts over US plans to overhaul its tax system. European bourses, however, opened lower.

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