Mumbai: In a choppy session, the Bombay Stock Exchange benchmark index, Sensex, erased early losses to end flat on Monday on weak global cues.
Tracking Asian markets, the Sensex opened 175 points down and reminded weak throughout the day but a fag-end buying in telecom stocks helped recover the early sharp decline and closed just 1.93 points down at 16,356.03 after moving between 16,422.40 and 16,160.80 during the day.
However, the National Stock Exchange index Nifty 50 fared better, despite opening 46 points down, by gaining 17.65 points to close at 4,899.70. The index moved between 4,918.80 and 4,827.15 during the day.
Among the 30 Sensex stocks, 21 counters led by consumer durables and healthcare sectors gained while nine closed with losses. While IT heavyweight Infosys, which is the second largest Sensex counter, slid Rs 27.50 to Rs 2,449.20, the index leader Reliance ended flat at Rs 1,046.60.
The gain was primarily driven telecom stocks such as Bharti Airtel after Credit Suisse upgraded the sector, while the banking and finance companies put up a bad show on Monday, leading to a falt closing, said brokers.
Investors are seen shifting their funds to different sectors, fearing the credit cost rise may impact on interest linked sectors, they added.
A better afternoon trend in Asian markets and a better opening in Europe also partly influenced the trading sentiment.
Bharti Airtel climbed Rs 4.20 to Rs 310.70 and Reliance Communications rose by Rs 3.95 to Rs 173.80.
The consumer durables sector gained the most by adding 5.70 percent to 4,015.90 followed by the healthcare index by 2.55 per cent to 4,886.44.
The auto sector index also rose by 1.69 per cent to 7,070.85 on very good January sales figures, the metal index by 1.60 per cent to 16,217.40, oil and gas index by 0.75 percent to 10,013.98, realty index by 0.73 per cent to 3,525.73 and public sector index by 0.68 per cent to 9,538.67.
However, a fall in the FMCG, IT and banking counters capped the market from any rise.