The BSE benchmark Sensex on Monday ended flat as investors turned cautious and shifted their funds in banking and interest-sensitive stocks ahead of RBI policy meeting on Tuesday.
The Sensex commenced higher at 20,172.45 and dipped to 20,062.79 before ending 0.18 point lower at 20,103.35. The index had gained 180 points in the previous session.
The wide-based National Stock Exchange index Nifty ended up 0.15 point to 6,074.80, after moving between 6088.40 and 6061.40.
Brokers said investors were cautious and picked up banking and interest-sensitive realty and auto stocks on expectations of an interest rate cut by the Reserve Bank of India in its policy review on Tuesday.
They said the market was partly supported on a better trend in the Asian region and higher opening in Europe as investors awaited reports on the US durable goods orders and pending house sales.
In 30-BSE index components, 15 stocks gained while 15 declined.
The realty sector index gained the most by 1.84% to 2,223.76 followed by auto index by 1.03% to 11,185.31 as Maruti Suzuki rose 0.44% to 1,607.25 on attractive quarter earnings and Tata Motors by 2.49% to Rs 308.55.
Banking index rose by 0.68% to 14,663.58 on expectation that RBI would probably cut the benchmark rate by 25 basis points to 7.75%.
On the other hand, a weak tend in oil and gas, consumer durable, capital goods, power and healthcare sectors kept the market under pressure to settle at almost flat.