Mumbai, May 25 (PTI) The BSE benchmark Sensex took a breather on Tuesday after a two-session rally as investors cashed in gains in index heavyweights HDFC twins and Reliance Industries despite firm global cues and declining COVID-19 cases.
The 30-share gauge settled 14.37 points or 0.03 per cent lower at 50,637.53. The broader NSE Nifty inched up 10.75 points or 0.07 per cent to 15,208.45.
HDFC Bank was the top laggard among the Sensex constituents, dropping 2.02 per cent, followed by Axis Bank, Reliance Industries, IndusInd Bank, HDFC and ITC.
On the other hand, Asian Paints topped the gainers' list with a jump of 3.38 per cent.
Titan, Bajaj Finserv, ONGC, TCS, Infosys and Power Grid were among the other major winners.
The market breadth was positive, as 21 stocks advanced while 9 closed in the red in the 30-share pack.
'Domestic equities traded in a range. While BFSIs witnessed some profit-booking after sharp recovery recorded in last couple of trading days, others traded positively,' said Binod Modi, Head Strategy at Reliance Securities.
Notably, metal stocks witnessed recovery as sharp correction in the last couple of days brought investors’ interest back to metal companies, which have reported robust earnings in 4Q FY21 and have given out healthy guidance for the ensuing quarters, he added.
He, however, stated that participants will continue to focus on trajectory of daily COVID-19 cases and vaccination ramp up in the country in the near term, and possible withdrawal of restrictions in a phased manner by states from next week should boost the market mood.
The daily count of COVID-19 cases in the country fell below the 2-lakh mark after over a month at 1,96,427, while the death toll also slipped to the lowest in 21 days at 3,511, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Tuesday.
Sector-wise, BSE consumer durables, IT, teck, metal, auto and FMCG were among the gainers, while power, energy, finance and bankex ended in the red.
Broader BSE midcap index fell 0.31 per cent, while the smallcap gauge rose 0.26 per cent.
World stocks darted up after the US Federal Reserve reiterated its dovish stance amid receding fears of runaway inflation, while encouraging macroeconomic data from EU also bolstered sentiment.
In Asia, bourses in Shanghai, Hong Kong, Seoul and Tokyo ended on a positive note.
Equities in Europe were largely trading with gains in mid-session deals.
Meanwhile, international oil benchmark Brent crude was trading 0.50 per cent lower at USD 68.03 per barrel.
The rupee strengthened by 19 paise to end at 72.77 against the US dollar on Tuesday, tracking weakness in the American currency in the overseas market.
Foreign institutional investors were net buyers in the capital market on Monday as they purchased shares worth Rs 585.36 crore, as per exchange data. PTI ANS ABM ABM