Domestic stock market indices ended almost flat on Monday ahead of the release of crucial economic data later on Monday.
While the BSE S&P Sensex gained just 17 points or 0.07% to close at 26,145 points, the 50-share Nifty ended at 7,935, down 7 points or 0.09%.
"It's been another flattish day for the markets, with not much activity from the key indices, except for few mid cap outperformers. The late surge in IT names could lend the support needed for markets, which are already limping it's way upwards. Technically 7980 is a crucial resistance on Nifty (spot), a closing above that can lead another 150+ point rally as well. Supports continue to be at 7700 zone," Business Standard quoted Kunal Bothra, Head Advisory, LKP Securities, as saying.
The key economic to be released includes gross domestic product (GDP) growth for the second quarter and fiscal deficit for October.
While a Bloomberg poll estimates the country's gross domestic product (GDP) to have grown by 7.3%, any sign of slower growth could dampen the sentiment among FIIs, resulting in further outflows.
October fiscal deficit data will be also scrutinised closely, as the government may miss the fiscal deficit target set for the year 2015-16, upon the implementation of the Seventh Pay Commission recommendations from 1 January, 2016.
Markets also remain cautious ahead of the fifth bi-monthly meeting of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on 1 December, even though it is widely expected to keep key lending rates unchanged.
"We expect the RBI (Tuesday) to keep policy rates on hold, given a lack of macro triggers since the September 50bp cut," said Barclays Capital in a note.
The RBI is expected to maintain a wait-and-see approach amid growing chances of interest rate hike by the US Federal Reserve. A rate hike by the US central bank could weigh heavily on the emerging market currencies including Indian rupee. A weak rupee will curtail the scope of RBI rate cuts in such a scenario.
Meanwhile, Telecom, FMCG and Energy were the top losers among the BSE sectoral indices, while Consumer Durables and Realty were the biggest losers.
IT stocks like Infosys and TCS ended higher following a weakness in the rupee. Banking stocks were mixed ahead of the RBI meet. While ICICI Bank and SBI ended in green, Axis Bank and HDFC closed in red.
Auto stocks traded firm ahead of sales data for November starting from 1 December. Bajaj Auto, Tata Motors, Bajaj Auto, and Mahindra & Mahindra gained in the range of 1.5-2.5% each.