BSE Sensex
BSE SensexReuters

Indian stock markets were trading flat in the afternoon session on Wednesday as gains in auto sector were offset by declines in consumer durables and FMCG sector shares.

The 30-share BSE Sensex gained 0.16 percent or 31.01 points to 19,773.53 and the 50-share NSE Nifty advanced 0.01 percent or 0.45 points to 6,002.15.

Markets opened on a high note, tracking positive cues from Asian peers on hopes for a better-than-expected U.S. earnings season after positive start from Alcoa. Alcoa, the largest U.S. aluminum producer, reported fourth quarter sales that beat estimates and lifted optimism about earnings season. However, Indian markets pared earlier gains on profit booking in select FMCG and Consumer durable shares.

Alcoa on late Tuesday said that said it swung to the fourth quarter net income of $242 million or $0.21 per share compared to a net loss of $191 million or $0.18 per share in the same period last year. Quarterly revenue fell 2 percent to $5.90 billion but topped analysts’ estimation of $5.60 billion.

Tata Motors climbed 4.47 percent after the company stock was upgraded to an “outperform” rating from an “underperform” rating at Credit Suisse.

Among the other stocks, Suzlon Energy rallied 6.78 percent and Havells India surged 4.60 percent while HDIL rose 3.47 percent.

Bharti Airtel Ltd. gained 1.24 percent and HPCL gained 1.41 percent while Larsen & Toubro advanced 0.69 percent after plunging more than 5 percent in the last four sessions.

In FMCG sector, ITC declined 1.33 percent and Hindustan Unilever fell 0.55 percent while United Breweries Ltd. plunged 3.27 percent.

Among the sectoral indices, auto and health care sectors gained 1.44 and 0.56 percent, respectively, while consumer durables and FMGC sectors fell 0.97 percent and 0.79 percent, respectively.

The overall market breadth was positive with 1510 advanced against 1277 declines. The BSE's Midcap Index gained 0.32 percent to 7,359.86 and Smallcap Index advanced 0.36 percent to 7,662.06. CNX midcap Index gained 0.27 percent and CNX IT fell 0.53 percent.