Mumbai– The key equity indices managed to register a gain for the sixth straight session on Monday as the market settled on a flat-to-positive note with people holding on to their investments pending results of state assembly elections.

After opening over 200 points higher on signs of easing US-China trade tensions, the market closed flat as global crude oil prices rose and uncertainty prevailed over state elections.

The S&P BSE Sensex and Nifty50 closed flat, while the rupee lost over 80 paise in the day’s trade.

“Markets ended with minor gains on Monday after consolidating in a range for a major part of the trading session. The opening gains triggered by strong global cues were almost offset by lower-than-expected GDP data,” said Deepak Jasani, Retail Research Head, HDFC Securities.

“It was nevertheless the sixth consecutive session of gains for the Nifty,” he said.

Also, ahead of the OPEC meeting this week, the crude oil prices surged on expectations of supply cuts by the oil cartel. The benchmark Brent crude traded higher at $62.05 a barrel when the domestic markets closed.

The domestic currency weakened by 86 paise against the US dollar, closing at Rs 70.45 from its previous close of 69.59.

“India’s GDP Figures fell sharply and arrived at 7.1 per cent for second quarter July-September. This is slower than expected expansion,” said Mustafa Nadeem, CEO, Epic Research.

“International rating agency Moody’s has cut India GDP estimates for FY-19 by 0.2 per cent, citing challenges in Banking Sector and recovery of NPAs,” Nadeem said.

Utilities, metal and realty gained over 2 per cent on the BSE while healthcare, energy and auto were the only stocks ending in red.

The Sensex settled 46.70 points up or 0.13 per cent at 36,241, from its previous close of 36,194.30. It touched an intra-day high of 36,446.16 and a low of 36,099.68.

The Nifty50 gained 7 points or 0.06 per cent to finish the trade session at 10,883.75.

“Technically, the Nifty is consolidating in a tight range after the rally seen last week. Further upsides are likely once the immediate resistance of 10,941 is taken out. Crucial supports to watch for any weakness are at 10,845,” said said Deepak.

Provisional data with the exchanges showed that foreign institutional investors bought stocks worth Rs 293.12 crore on Monday, while the domestic institutional investors sold Rs 806.45-crore shares.

Top gainers on the Sensex were Yes Bank, up 4.92 per cent at Rs 178; Hindustan Uniliver, up 4.12 per cent at Rs 1,825.90; Vedanta, up 3.70 per cent at Rs 203.05; NTPC, up 3.68 per cent at Rs 145.10; and Adani Ports, up 2.61 per cent at Rs 375.45 per share.

The surge in the shares of Hindustan Unilever came on the back of the company’s announcement that it would merge another FMCG major GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare with itself, in a deal which also brings the brand of Horlicks under Hindustan Unilever’s portfolio.

Top laggards were led by Sun Pharma which lost 7.52 per cent at Rs 455.30; Mahindra and Mahindra, down 3.79 per cent at Rs 760.25; ITC, down 1.14 per cent at Rs 283; Reliance Industries ,down 1.02 per cent at Rs 1,156.30; and Hero MotoCorp, down 0.47 per cent at Rs 3,043.80 per share. (IANS)