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Indian shares end flat as auto, metals offset IT gains

Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) in Mumbai

BENGALURU (Reuters) - Indian shares stayed rooted to two-month lows on Tuesday, with gains in IT and consumer companies offset by losses in auto and metal stocks, as worries over economic growth festered ahead of the central bank's policy decision later this week.

The NSE Nifty 50 index closed flat at 17,007, while the S&P BSE Sensex also ended mostly unchanged at 57,107.52.

"The global markets are not completely out of the woods. Indian markets will not be able to sustain major gains given the macro data in the U.S., monthly derivatives expiry and the Reserve Bank of India's monetary policy decision later this week," said Prashanth Tapse, research analyst, Mehta Equities.

"We are in a very volatile zone given the movement in the dollar index. Unless the index cools off, Indian markets may not be in a positive trend."

The Nifty IT index rose nearly 1% on expectations that services companies will benefit from the strong dollar.

The FMCG index gained 0.6% on hopes of higher volume growth and margin recovery as prices of many key raw materials like palm oil have cooled off, analysts said. The index gained nearly 4% last week.

"We are in the festive season and volume growth will be higher compared to last six months. Being a defensive sector, the FMCG looks good," Tapse said.

Cipla and Tata Consumer were top gainers in the Nifty 50 index, rising 3.1% and 2.2%, respectively, while Hero MotoCorp fell the most, losing 3.1%.

Foreign institutional investors sold net 51.01 billion Indian rupees ($625.1 million) domestic equities on Monday as per provisional data available with the National Stock Exchange.

($1 = 81.6100 Indian rupees)

(Reporting by Nallur Sethuraman in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D'Souza)