India’s equity benchmarks are likely to open on flat note with downward bias amid lack of major cues. With the country is gearing up for general elections, analysts expect the market to move in a narrow range. Foreign portfolio investors continued their selling by offloading shares on every rise.

Gift Nifty at 22,255 indicates that NSE Nifty50 is likely to open down as Nifty Feb futures closed at 22,217.20 and Nifty March futures at 22,359.15. BSE Sensex, too, is likely to follow a similar path.

As global cues are negative with the US stocks and equities across Asia-Pacific region down, experts believe domestic markets will see profit taking at every rise.

“If we look at the F&O data, FII’s have reduced some of their net short positions in the index futures segment and in the options segment, put writing was seen in Nifty at 22000 strike,” said Ruchit Jain, Lead Research,

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According to Jain, 22000-21900 is the immediate support for the index, while positional support base has shifted higher to 21600. On the higher side, the up move could continue towards 22450-22500 in the near-term which is the extension levels added to the recent swing low, he added.

Ashwin Ramani, Derivatives and Technical Analyst at SAMCO Securities, said the foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) Long-Short ratio rose from 38.24 per cent on February 16 to 39.25 per cent on February 19 as the FPI’s continued to build long positions in index futures for the second consecutive day.

“The put writers (bulls) further strengthened their position at the 22,000 strike today. The 22,100 strike saw a good battle between the call (bears) and put writers, which kept the Nifty choppy on intraday basis in the first half. A follow up buying from the current level can accelerate the momentum, which can take the Index even higher,” he added.