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Indian stock markets pared intra-day losses to end flat today as losses in financial stocks were offset by gains in information technology and pharma. The blue-chip NSE Nifty 50 index ended flat at 14,736.40 and the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex slipped 0.2% to 49,771.29. The surge in new coronavirus cases has pushed many states to impose fresh curbs.

Barclays in a note, however, said the impact on India's growth is likely to be limited despite new restrictions coming up.

"Amid expanding eligibility for vaccinations, the disruption from rising infections might be limited, and risks to the growth outlook are balanced for now," Barclays said.

The Nifty bank index fell 1.6% and the finance index dropped 1.2%. The Nifty bank index fell 3.8% last week. On the other hand, the Nifty IT index surged 1.9% and the pharma index gained 1.6%.

IndusInd Bank was the top loser in the Sensex pack, shedding 4.33 per cent, followed by PowerGrid, ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank, Axis Bank, Bajaj Finance and SBI.

On the other hand, Tech Mahindra, TCS, Sun Pharma, Infosys and HCL Tech were among the gainers.

The broader markets outperformed as both BSE midcap and smallcap indices ended higher.

Here is what analysts said on today's market performance:

Ajit Mishra, VP - Research, Religare Broking Ltd

"We expect the current consolidation to continue in the index, in absence of any major trigger. Apart from the global cues, rising COVID cases in India would continue to remain the key concern. We have been observing underperformance from the banking pack, which is hurting the prospects for sustainable directional move. It’s prudent to limit leveraged positions in the current scenario and let the market stabilise."

Vinod Nair, Head of Research at Geojit Financial Services.

"Fear of the second wave of Covid-19, elevated bond yield and weak global cues is weighing on the domestic market. The expectation of rise in inflation is also impacting the market. The market has marched well in anticipation of faster economic recovery and is taking a breather given tightening restrictions & an increase in future interest rate, spiking fear of a slower recovery"

Shrikant Chouhan, Executive Vice President, Equity Technical Research at Kotak Securities

“Today, a hammer has been formed in the market and it is in the trading range of the previous day. Such a formation invites a trending and massive activity on either side. If the market goes above 14800 tomorrow, the Nifty is likely to go up to 14950/15000. Tomorrow would be a crucial day for the market. Keep a strategy of buy on dips in the market. The 14680/14570 levels would be the main supports. Nifty could fall heavily below 14570 levels. Bank Nifty has reached a double bottom at 33350. Small traders can take long positions with a stop loss of 33300 or can take short positions below the 33300 level. Technology and FMCG stocks should be on the watch list."

Deepak Jasani, Head of Retail Research, HDFC Securities

"Volumes on the NSE were lower than recent average. Asian markets were mixed after sentiments were shaken by the U.S. Federal Reserve’s announcement that it would end some emergency measures put in place last year to help the financial industry deal with the pandemic. A plunge in the Turkish lira also did not help matters. Nifty has closed almost at the intraday high. A sustained breach of 14764 on the upside could result in some more upside momentum of about 100 Nifty points. Positive advance decline ratio is also encouraging."

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