Key Indian equity indices closed on a flat note with fractional losses on Wednesday as caution ahead of the US Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) policy meet outcome, coupled with heavy outflow of foreign funds, kept investors’ sentiments subdued.

Heavy selling pressure was witnessed in automobile, consumer durables and banking stocks.

The wider Nifty50 of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) fell by 6.40 points or 0.06 per cent to close at 10,141.15 points.

The 30-scrip Sensitive Index (Sensex) of the BSE closed at 32,400.51 points — down 1.86 points, or 0.01 per cent, from its previous close at 32,402.37 points.

The Sensex touched a high of 32,499.88 points and a low of 32,383.82 during intra-day trade.

The BSE market breadth was bearish — 1,378 declines and 1,212 advances.

“Markets ended marginally lower on Wednesday as the Nifty continued to consolidate. Market participants remained cautious ahead of the outcome of Federal Reserve monetary policy meeting later in the global day,” Deepak Jasani, Head – Retail Research, HDFC Securities.

“Broad market indices like the BSE mid-cap and small-cap indices lost a little more, thereby underperforming the main indices. Major Asian markets ended on a mixed note, while European indices like FTSE 100 and CAC 40 traded higher,” said Jasani.

In terms of the broader markets, the S&P BSE mid-cap index was lower by 0.07 per cent and the small-cap index by 0.14 per cent.

Vinod Nair, Head of Research, Geojit Financial Services, said: “Markets continued to remain range bound as investors were stuck with a wait and watch approach ahead of the statement of FOMC meeting.”

“FIIs (foreign institutional investors) have a neutral view on India today due to its high risk position in the risk-reward meter within the EM (emerging markets) basket. So, this can impact in the short-term but unlikely in the long-term, as seen by the appreciation of INR (Indian rupee) in spite of selling by FII,” Nair added.

During the day, the Indian rupee strengthened by 6-7 paise to 64.26-27 against the US dollar from its previous close at 64.33.

In terms of investments, provisional data with the exchanges showed that FIIs sold scrip worth Rs 1,185.44 crore while domestic institutional investors (DIIs) purchased stocks worth Rs 946.23 crore.

“Indian shares were little changed on Wednesday, while market heavyweight Reliance Industries hit a record high as a cut in mobile interconnect fee is seen benefiting the company’s telecom unit,” said Dhruv Desai, Director and Chief Operating Officer of Tradebulls.

During the day’s trade, shares of Reliance Industries hit a record high of Rs 872.10. It closed at Rs 847.10 per share — up 0.85 per cent.

“Over 120 stocks hit fresh 52-week highs, helping them multiply investors’ wealth. Ashok Leyland, Asian Granito, Bombay Dyeing, Centrum Capital, Hexaware Tech, IGL, Meghmani Organics, Punj Lloyd, Trident and Yes Bank, among others, were among those stocks,” Desai told IANS.

Sector-wise, the S&P BSE metals automobile index slipped by 171.59 points, consumer durables index by 120.81 points and banking index by 78.29 points.

On the other hand, the S&P BSE capital goods index was up 99.41 points, healthcare index by 31.95 points and FMCG index by 15.33 points.

Major Sensex gainers on Wednesday were: Dr. Reddy’s Lab, up 3.33 per cent at Rs 2,313.60; Tata Steel, up 1.64 per cent at Rs 687.65; ITC, up 1.27 per cent at Rs 271.20; Wipro, up 1.07 per cent at Rs 292; and State Bank of India, up 1.03 per cent at Rs 270.55.

Major Sensex losers were: Hero MotoCorp, down 2.29 per cent at Rs 3,858.10; Tata Motors, down 1.98 per cent at Rs 415.50; Sun Pharma, down 1.96 per cent at Rs 506.45; Hindustan Unilever, down 1.66 per cent at Rs 1,258.70; and Power Grid, down 1.35 per cent at Rs 212.50.