The Indian equity benchmarks erased early gains to trade on a flat note on Wednesday as sharp drop in commodity prices in international markets stoked recession fears. The Sensex rose as much as 372 points and Nifty 50 index touched an intraday high of 15,905 but soon turned flat.
As of 9:49 am, the Sensex was up 178 points at 53,313 and Nifty 50 index advanced 30 points to 15,840.
Asian stocks slipped and the dollar stood by a two-decade high on the euro on Wednesday as investors' fears deepened that the continent is leading the world into recession, while oil and European equity futures attempted to steady after a slide.
Brent crude futures bounced 1.4 per cent in morning trade to $104.18 a barrel, nursing its wounds after a 9.5 per cent drop to a 2-1/2 month low on Tuesday with worries that a global growth slowdown is going to sap demand.
MSCI's index of Asia-Pacific stocks outside Japan fell 0.6 per cent. Japan's Nikkei fell 0.88 per cent, on course for its first loss of the week. S&P 500 futures fell 0.2 per cent, though Euro STOXX 50 futures bounced 1.8 per cent.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng index was down 0.42 per cent while Chinese blue chips fell 0.7 per cent, dragged by worries about new COVID-19 cases in Shanghai risking fresh restrictions.
Benchmark U.S. crude oil for August delivery fell $8.93 to $99.50 a barrel Tuesday. Brent crude for September delivery fell $10.73 to $102.70 a barrel.
Back home, twelve of 15 sector gauges compiled by the National Stock Exchange were trading higher led by the Nifty Auto index's 1.15 per cent gain. Finty Financial Services, Bank, IT, PSU Bank, Private Bank, Realty and Consumer Durable indices also rose between 0.5-1 per cent.
On the other hand, select media, metal and oil & Gas shares were witnessing buying interest.
Broader markets were also trading higher with Nifty Midcap 100 index advancing 0.41 per cent and Nifty Smallcap 100 index gaining 0.53 per cent.
Asian Paints was top Nifty gainer, the stock rose 2.3 per cent to Rs 2,829. Bajaj Fiance, Eicher Motors, hero MotoCorp, Bharat Petroleum, Mahindra & Mahindra, Axis Bank, Bajaj Finserv, Maruti Suzuki, SBI Life and State Bank of India also rose between 0.8-2 per cent.
On the other hand, Hindalco, ONGC, Coal India, Tata Steel, NTPC, Power Grid, Reliance Industries, Titan, Cipla, Infosys and Tata Motors were among the losers.
The overall market breadth was neutral as 1,372 shares were advancing while 1,252 were declining on the BSE.