The Bombay Stock Exchange benchmark index Sensex recouped the early sharp losses on Monday following reports of a strong manufacturing growth in January but failed to maintain the momentum and ended flat on profit booking.

Tracking negative cues from Asian markets, the Sensex opened 175 points down, fell nearly 200 points on heavy selling, but recovered the losses in the second half and touched 16,422.40 before ending flat at 16,356.03, with a marginal loss of 1.93 points.

However, a fag-end buying in select counters mainly from the consumer durables, healthcare, auto and metal counters following report of a very good manufacturing numbers in January, mainly helped the Sensex recovery.

According to an industry report, the manufacturing sector grew at its fastest in almost six quarters in January, boosted by a sharp rise in new export orders that underpin a recovery in the industrial sector, boosted the market sentiment, a broker said.

However, the 50-share Nifty of the National Stock Exchange put up a better show and closed 17.65 points higher at 4,899.70 after moving between 4,918.80 and 4,827.15 during the day.

After a very gap-down opening, the Asia ended narrowly mixed on Monday as indices like the Sanghai Composite fell by 1.60 per cent, Tawian by 1.52 per cent and Strait Times by 0.33 per cent, while Hang Seng ended higher by 0.61 per cent, Nikkei by 0.07 per cent and Kospi by 0.25 per cet.

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