The benchmark indices have surrendered most of their early-morning gains and turned flat, amid bouts of choppiness. At 1:40 pm, the BSE Sensex had surrendered almost 300 points from intra-day high of 50,961.35 and was trading at 50,682.35, up 32.62 points and the NSE Nifty was at 15,221.25, up 23.25 points or 0.1 per cent. The broader markets were trading mixed, with the BSE Midcap index shedding 0.2 per cent and the BSE Smallcap index adding 0.3 per cent.
On the economy front, Barclays cut its full-year 2021-22 economic growth forecast for India by 80 basis points to 9.2 per cent, saying the toll from stringent lockdowns imposed to curb rising COVID-19 infections appeared to be bigger than earlier expectation.
Meanwhile, the rupee strengthened by 13 paise to 72.83 against the US dollar tracking the broad weakness of the dollar. The rupee had opened at 72.85 against the dollar at the interbank foreign exchange.
On the stock-specific front, JSW Steel, Titan, Asian Paints, Nestle and Eicher Motors gained 2-3 per cent each on the BSE. And Barbeque Nation Hospitality was locked at the upper circuit of 20 per cent at Rs 767.50 on the BSE after the company reported doubling of consolidated Ebitda (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation) to Rs 56.1 crore in the March quarter (Q4FY21).
On the flip side, banking stocks were witnessing some profit-booking after their recent gains. HDFC Bank, IndusInd Bank, Axis Bank and State Bank of India lost up to 2 per cent each on the BSE.
The BSE market breadth was positive. Out of 3188 shares traded on the BSE, there were 1740 advancing stocks as against 1277 declines.