Despite positive cues from fellow Asian peers, Indian equity benchmarks were trading in a narrow range with negative bias during the afternoon session on Monday as third quarter earnings season kicked in, with traders cautious that the demonetisation move would hit corporate earnings.
At 1:11 hours, the 30-share barometer index of Bombay Stock Exchange, Sensex was at 26,738.79 down by 20.44 points or 0.08 per cent while the NSE Nifty was at 8,239.3 down by 4.5 points or 0.05 per cent.
Meanwhile, investors keenly eyed the IT bellwether Tata Consultancy Services and rival Infosys Q3 report cards which will be unveiled on Thursday and Friday respectively, influenced sentiment at D-Street.
Moreover, Finance Minister Jaitley said indirect tax collection in December month rose 14.2 per cent Y-o-Y, while direct tax collection up 12.01 per cent during the same month.
Market witnessed selling pressure mainly in the power and healthcare sector stocks.
Major show spoilers were Dr. Reddy's Laboratories Ltd. (Rs. 3060.10,-3.18%), Power Grid Corporation of India Ltd. (Rs. 185.50,-1.72%), Oil And Natural Gas Corporation Ltd. (Rs. 199.15,-1.63%), Coal India Ltd. (Rs. 300.95,-1.57%), NTPC Ltd. (Rs. 161.40,-1.53%), among others.
The top gainers of the BSE Sensex pack were Tata Motors Ltd. (Rs. 502.65,+0.97%), ITC Ltd. (Rs. 244.95,+0.95%), Maruti Suzuki India Ltd. (Rs. 5663.30,+0.89%), Bajaj Auto Ltd. (Rs. 2732.25,+0.88%), Reliance Industries Ltd. (Rs. 1081.00,+0.77%), among others.
The market breadth, indicating the overall strength of the market, was positive. On BSE, out of the total 2790 shares traded, 1560 advanced while 1095 shares declined and 135 remained unchanged.