By Rama Venkat
BENGALURU (Reuters) -Indian shares ended little changed on Wednesday, as losses in technology stocks offet most of the gains in metals, while investors looked ahead to U.S. inflation data for clues on the pace of rate hikes from the Federal Reserve.
At close, the NSE Nifty 50 index was up 0.06% at 17,534.75, and the S&P BSE Sensex fell 0.06% to 58,817.29. The benchmark indexes swayed between gains and losses after hovering in early trade at near four-month highs hit in the previous session. Indian markets were closed on Tuesday for a holiday.
"We are seeing some sort of cautiousness in domestic equities because of the strong U.S. jobs data last week increasing probability of a bigger-sized rate hike by the Federal Reserve," said Shrikant Chouhan, head of retail equity research at Kotak Securities.
The market is likely to remain range-bound as investors look for the U.S. Consumer Price Index numbers, which will come in the evening, he added.
In Mumbai trading, Nifty's metal index closed 1.62% higher after scaling three-month highs earlier in the session.
Hindalco Industries closed 4.4% higher and was the top Nifty 50 gainer. The aluminium and copper producer reported a near 48% jump in quarterly profit. (https://bit.ly/3zLSDmH)
State-run coal miner Coal India rose 2.1% ahead of its quarterly earnings.
Nifty IT index, countering some of the gains, was the worst-performing sector and closed 0.89% lower, suffering a second straight session of loss.
Meanwhile, a Reuters poll showed that India's retail inflation likely eased in July due to a fall in food and fuel prices but stayed well above the Reserve Bank of India's upper tolerance limit for a seventh consecutive month. The domestic Consumer Price Index data is due on Friday.
Globally, equities markets were rattled on Wednesday as investors were reluctant to place bets ahead of U.S. inflation data later in the day. [MKTS/GLOB]
(Reporting by Rama Venkat in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty and Dhanya Ann Thoppil)