Mumbai: The BSE benchmark Sensex on Monday plunged to its two-week low level on frantic selling on RIL and other blue-chips but closed the day flat, helped by a
fag-end buying in select stocks.

After opening the day lower by over 100 points, the 30-share Sensex declined further to a two-week low of 18,120.76.

Market participants said buying support emerged in consumer durable and power sectors towards the end of trade which helped the key index settle at 18,266.03, a mere 2.51 points lower from its last close.

The 50-share Nifty of the National Stock Exchange also ended down by three points at 5,482.80.

IIFL Head of Research (India Private Clients) Amar Ambani said, "Market players preferred to book profits ahead of the monthly inflation numbers on Tuesday and the Reserve Bank policy on June 16."

Traders said after Directorate General of Hydrocarbons rejected three new natural gas finds of company in KG-D6 block, its shares were battered by investors. RIL ended 1.84 per cent lower on the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE).

"The Sensex alternated between the negative and the positive territories before finally closing on a flat note..Selective auto stock companies (mostly two-wheelers and three-wheelers) attracted buying. Extension of DEPB scheme by 3 months led to investor’s interest in these stocks," Bonanza Portfolio Senior Research Analyst Shanu Goel said.

Hindalco Industries at 2.22 per cent, Tata Steel at 1.12 per cent, TCS at 1.10 per cent and SBI at 1.02 per cent were the day's biggest Sensex losers.

Metal stocks continued to decline as weaker-than-expected Chinese bank lending data for the May 11 raised concerns about slowdown of Chinese Economy.

"...the Indian market fell in line with other Asian peers. But the Indian stocks recovered in the afternoon, tracking a pullback in the Chinese and Hong Kong markets. European stocks opened flat but advanced marginally later," Ambani said.

Jaiprakash Associates was a significant gainer at 3.18 per cent. NTPC, Cipla, RCom, Bajaj Auto, HDFC, too closed up in the range of 1-2 per cent.

The total market breadth at BSE turned positive as 1,438 stocks finishing with losses, while 1,379 stocks ending with losses at BSE. The total turnover was relatively low at Rs 2,483.55 crore as against Rs 2,638.60 crore on last Friday.

Asian stocks ended narrowly mixed amid concern that the global economy is slowing. The key benchmark indices in Singapore, Japan, Taiwan and Shanghai Composite fell in the ragne of 0.16 per cent and 1.41 per cent, while indices in Kospi and Hong Kong finished higher by 0.10 per cent and 0.39 per cent, respectively.

In Europe, DAX and FTSE declined by 0.20 per cent and 1.44 per cent, respectively while CAX was quoted higher by 0.09 per cent.

(Agencies)