Sensex, Nifty end flat on caution ahead of state polls (Second Lead)
Mumbai : The key equity indices ended little changed on Wednesday, as caution ahead of state polls gripped the market, offsetting gains from lower crude oil prices.
India is a big importer of crude oil, and a steep fall in global prices eased concerns about inflation gaining pace in Asia's third-largest economy.
The benchmark Brent crude prices slumped to $65.48 a barrel.
According to Anuj Gupta, Deputy Vice President - Research - Commodities and Forex, Angel Broking, the steep decline in crude prices comes after the Energy Information Administration (EIA) on Tuesday said that it expects the US crude oil output to touch record levels of 7.94 million barrels per day (bpd) in December.
The decline in crude prices sent the rupee higher. It was last at Rs 72.37 to a US dollar from its previous close of 72.67.
Heavy selling pressure was witnessed in export-oriented stocks like IT and healthcare owing to the appreciation in the domestic currency.
However, the index pivotals -- finance and banking stocks -- managed to end the session with gains.
The S&P BSE Sensex fell 2.50 points or 0.01 per cent to 35,141.99 points. It had opened at 35,330.14 from its previous close of 35,144.49.
It touched an intra-day high of 35,351.88 and a low of 34,986.86.
The NSE Nifty closed 6.20 points lower or 0.06 per cent at 10,576.30.
Earlier, official data showed that India's annual rate of inflation based on wholesale prices rose to 5.28 per cent in October from 5.13 per cent in September.
"WPI going up is not that bad for the markets as corporates benefit from it as they can pass on the costs," said Rusmik Oza, Head of Fundamental Research, Kotak Securities.
Elections to constitute state legislatures in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Telangana, and Mizoram are scheduled for this month and the next.