The benchmark Sensex on Wednesday ended flat with a marginal 4.76-point drop as caution prevailed ahead of the expiry of November derivatives contracts on Thursday and GDP and fiscal deficit data due on Friday.

Power, realty and IT stocks saw selling while consumer durables, FMCG and auto scrips witnessed buying, traders said.

After a better start at 20,449, the Sensex fell to intra-day low of 20,348.06 in choppy trade. It ended at 20,420.26, down 4.76 points, or 0.02 per cent, compared to Tuesday. The benchmark had lost 180.06 points on Tuesday.

Among the 30-share Sensex, 16 stocks including Infosys, Bharti Airtel and RIL, fell. However, Tata Motors, ITC and ONGC led 13 gainers. Hero MotoCorp ended unchanged.

The 50-share NSE index Nifty eased by a mere 2 points, or 0.03 per cent, to close at 6,057.10, after moving between 6,074 and 6,030.30 intra-day. Also, SX40 index of MCX Stock Exchange closed 4.36 points down at 12,119.99.

Brokers said the market remained volatile as investors were seen adjusting portfolios before the expiry of monthly derivative contracts tomorrow. Investors are also eyeing the GDP and fiscal deficit data slated for release on Friday.

The rupee was trading stronger at 62.2 levels against the US dollar. The American unit fell following a disappointing report on US consumer confidence in November.

Sectorally, BSE Power was the worst performer on Wednesday as it lost 0.88 per cent, followed by Realty (0.77 pc), IT (0.66 pc), TECK (0.65 pc) and Healthcare (0.48 pc).

In pharma pack, Wockhardt plunged 8.87 per cent after US health regulator FDA imposed restrictions on import of medicines produced at the company’s Chikalthana plant at Aurangabad in Maharashtra.

Globally, markets eked out modest gains today amid bets that the Wall Street looks set to add to a string of milestones ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday.

In Europe, the UK’s FTSE, France’s CAC and Germany’s DAX were trading higher in early trades. Asian indices including Hong Kong’s Hang Seng, Taiwan’s TAIEX and China’s Shanghai Composite closed in green. However, Nikkei of Japan ended down.

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