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Markets Take A Breather, Close Flat In Muted Trade; ONGC Soars As Oil Climbs Above $70

Halting its four-session rally, the 30-share BSE Sensex ended 2.56 points lower at 51,934.88.

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The NSE Nifty snapped its seven-session winning run to close modestly lower on Tuesday as investors booked profits at higher levels despite a firm trend in overseas markets.

A declining rupee and lacklustre macroeconomic data also kept investors on the sidelines, analysts said.

Halting its four-session rally, the 30-share BSE Sensex ended 2.56 points lower at 51,934.88.

Retreating from its lifetime high, the broader NSE Nifty slipped 7.95 points or 0.05 per cent to close at 15,574.85.

ICICI Bank was the top loser in the Sensex pack, shedding 1.80 per cent, followed by UltraTech Cement, Asian Paints, Axis Bank, ITC, Kotak Bank, PowerGrid and Infosys.

On the other hand, ONGC topped the gainers' chart with a jump of 3.52 per cent, in tandem with soaring crude oil prices which touched the USD 70-per barrel mark.

Bajaj Finance, SBI, HDFC, Bajaj Auto and Tech Mahindra were among the other gainers, climbing up to 2.93 per cent.

'Benchmark Nifty traded flat despite positive global cues. Barring pharma, most of key sectoral indices traded in the red with marginal correction,' said Binod Modi, Head - Strategy at Reliance Securities.

Further, Reliance Industries remained in focus and arrested any sharp fall in the Index. Profit-booking was visible in midcap and smallcap stocks after witnessing a sharp rally in last couple of days, he added.

'Indices traded in a range and closed flat even as Corporate India has been announcing capital expenditure plans since the start of the fiscal. Weak PMI data released today did not help sentiments as we saw profit-taking across the metal space today.

'In the broader market, we saw keen interest in select pockets of textiles and pharma names,' said S Ranganathan, Head of Research at LKP Securities.

India's manufacturing sector activity witnessed a significant loss of growth momentum in May due to the intensification of the COVID-19 crisis and its detrimental impact on demand, a monthly survey said on Tuesday.

The seasonally adjusted IHS Markit India Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) fell to 50.8 in May from 55.5 in April.

India's economy contracted by less-than-expected 7.3 per cent in the fiscal year ended March 2021 after growth rate picked up in the fourth quarter, as per official data released after market hours on Monday.

The gross domestic product (GDP) in Asia's third-largest economy grew by 1.6 per cent in the January-March period, up from 0.5 per cent in the previous quarter when India began pulling out of a steep pandemic-induced recession in the earlier six months.

Sector-wise, BSE metal, basic materials, bankex, realty, auto, IT and finance fell up to 1.63 per cent, while oil and gas, energy, consumer durables and industrials rose up to 0.71 per cent.

Broader BSE midcap index ended flat while and the smallcap gauge skidded 0.31 per cent.

World stocks remained buoyant despite rising oil prices stoking inflation fears.

Elsewhere in Asia, bourses in Shanghai, Hong Kong and Seoul ended in the positive territory, while Tokyo was in the red.

Equities in Europe were trading on a positive note in mid-session deals.

International oil benchmark Brent crude was trading 2.01 per cent higher at USD 70.72 per barrel.

Extending losses for the second straight session, the rupee on Tuesday fell by another 28 paise to end at 72.90 against the US dollar.

Meanwhile, India reported 1,27,510 fresh COVID-19 cases, the lowest in 54 days, while the daily positivity rate dropped to 6.62 per cent, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Tuesday.