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Sensex closes flat ahead of RBI's monetary policy review

Posted on Jan 28, 10:46PM | IANS

A benchmark index for Indian equities markets closed flat Monday, a day ahead of the Reserve Bank of India's (RBI) third quarter monetary policy review.

Automobile, bank and realty stocks rallied. However, oil and gas, capital goods, and consumer durables stocks plummeted.

The BSE Sensex, which opened at 20,129.00 points, closed at 20,103.35 points -- down 0.18 points 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 closed marginally up 1.61 points, while the smallcap index was higher by 19.34 points.

The wider 50-scrip S and P CNX Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) closed 0.15 points up at 6,074.80 points.

There was 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 monetary policy for the financial year 2012-13 on Jan 29.

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

Among major indices, the automobile index was higher by 114.07 points, followed by bank index, up 98.52 points, and the realty index closed higher by 40.13 points.

In terms of losers, the oil and gas index was down 108.97 points, while the capital goods index was down 70.01 points and the consumer durables index was down 68.75 points.

Among other Asian markets, Japan's Nikkei was down 0.94 percent and Hong Kong's Hang Seng was higher by 0.34 percent. However, China's Shanghai Composite Index was higher by 2.41 percent.