The BSE Sensex was little changed on Tuesday as investors awaited cues on whether the Federal Reserve would raise U.S. interest rates this year.
As the earnings season draws to a close, investors’ focus will shift to Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen’s speech on Friday at the annual central bankers’ meeting in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, to assess the odds of an interest rate hike in the coming months.
Broader sentiment also remained edgy with Asian shares inching higher, while oil prices fell for a second straight session on supply concerns.
But a rate hike by the Federal Reserve could pause the liquidity-driven rally in Indian stocks, which have risen about 24 percent from their February lows, analysts say.
“There’s some bit of caution ahead of the Fed announcement as a rate hike will definitely stall this rally that we have seen in Indian stocks and result in some selling pressure,” said Rikesh Parikh, vice-president of equities at Motilal Oswal Securities.
Sentiment was also muted ahead of the expiry of the derivative contracts on Thursday.
The benchmark BSE Sensex was 0.11 percent lower at 27,955.35 as of 0527 GMT, while the broader NSE Nifty was down 0.09 percent at 8,621.55.
Among the gainers, Reliance Infrastructure Ltd rose 2.4 percent after the company completed the sale of its cement unit to Birla Corp Ltd on Monday.
Shares of Indraprastha Gas gained as much as 7.8 percent to a record high of Rs 786.60 after the company posted about 44 percent jump in its June-quarter profit, ahead of market expectations.
But oil refiner Hindustan Petroleum Corp fell 3.9 percent despite posting a near 30 percent jump in its June-quarter profit on profit-booking.