The BSE Sensex and Nifty traded flat ahead of the vote on Foreign Direct Investment or FDI in multi-brand retail in Rajya Sabha on Friday. The government won the vote in Lok Sabha on Wednesday, but is in minority in the Rajya Sabha.
Political analysts expect the government to win the vote after Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), which had abstained in Lok Sabha, announced its support yesterday. Traders say while markets remain susceptible to profit booking after the Sensex rose 5.6 percent till Thursday, since November 22, when the winter session of parliament began, vote on FDI remains the key for near-term direction.
At 11.45 a.m., the Sensex traded 23 points or 0.12 per cent higher at 19,510 while the broader Nifty advanced 3 points to 5,934.
IT, FMCG and metal stocks were under selling pressure. Auto, consumer durables and capital goods shares led the gains.
On the 50-share Nifty, 24 stocks traded higher led by car manufacturer Maruti Suzuki. Maruti shares hit their 52-week high after the company announced a price hike effective January. Maruti traded 3 per cent higher at Rs 1,527.10 on the BSE.
Other auto stocks - Tata Motors and M&M - traded 1.5-2 per cent higher.
HCL Tech - India's fourth largest IT exporter led the losses among IT stocks. It traded with over 1 per cent cut at Rs 618. IT stocks have been under selling pressure for the last three sessions. TCS and Infosys shares also traded lower.
On the broader BSE 500, GMR Infra shares were down 2.5 per cent. The stock has come under selling pressure after a Singapore Supreme Court order that gave the control of Male international airport that GMR was developing, to the Maldives government.
Asian shares touched fresh 16-month highs on Friday following modest overnight gains in global equities as investors watched progress in U.S. budget talks with expectations for an eventual deal and awaited U.S. nonfarm payrolls data later in the day.
(With inputs from Reuters)