A steep fall of 3.73 per cent in the country's largest private sector firm and the top heavyweight Reliance Industries (RIL) weighed on market sentiment but a smart rise in FMCG major Hindustan Unilever helped the benchmark Sensex to end flat.
Major oil refiner RIL fell sharply, mainly prompted by disappointing Q1 results announced after trading hours last Friday. The company's net profit dipped for the third straight quarter due to global recession, putting pressure on the market in morning trade.
But a smart rally in FMCG giant HUL, which touched a 52-week high of 305.40 on the BSE in intra-day trade and ended up by 5.90 per cent, cushioned the Sensex fall to a major extent.
The Bombay Stock Exchange 30-share barometer moved between 15,463.09, a level not seen since June 12, 2009, when it logged a high of 15,600.30, and 15,228.46, before ending the day at 15,375.04, a fall of just 3.92 points or 0.03 per cent against its previous close.
Bonanza Portfolio Assistant Vice-President Avinash Gupta said, "Thanks to the positive global cues, the market ended almost flat. The disappointment caused by the results of Reliance Industries Limited could have dragged the market down. The market is expected to display a sideways trend with an upward bias."