Sensex trades flat ahead of RBI's monetary policy review

Mumbai, Jan 28 (IANS) A benchmark index for Indian equities markets was trading flat Monday afternoon, a day ahead of the Reserve Bank of India's (RBI) third quarter monetary policy review.

Automobile, information technology (IT) and bank stocks rallied. However, oil and gas, capital goods, and consumer durables stocks plummeted.

The BSE Sensex, which opened at 20,129.00 points, was at 20,084.57 points around 12.30 p.m. -- down 18.96 points or 0.09 percent from its previous close at 20,103.53 points.

The BSE Sensex touched an intra-day high of 20,172.45 points and a low of 20,062.79 points. The BSE midcap index was up 3.36 points, while the smallcap index was higher by 30.38 points.

The wider 50-scrip S&P CNX Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) was trading up 3.55 points or 0.06 percent at 6,071.10 points.

There was a strong buying support in the interest rate sensitive realty, auto and banking stocks on expectations that the RBI would cut key policy rates on Tuesday by at least a quarter of a percent to boost economic growth.

The RBI is scheduled to announce the third quarter review of the monetary policy for the financial year 2012-13 Jan 29.

In the previous review announced Dec 18, the central bank indicated that it would ease monetary policy in the January review.

In major indices, automobile index was higher by 119.31 points, followed by bank index up 38.62 points, and the IT index which was up 37.05 points. In terms of losers, oil and gas index was down 95.61 points, while the capital goods index was down 42.55 and consumer durables index was down 38.25 points.

Among other Asian markets, Japan's Nikkei was down 0.94 percent, Hong Kong's Hang Seng was lower by 0.39 percent. However, China's Shanghai Composite Index was higher by 2.41 percent.

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