The Indian equity benchmarks ended Wednesday’s volatile session marginally lower as gains in Reliance Industries, HDFC, TCS and Bajaj Finance were offset with losses in HDFC Bank, Infosys, Bharti Airtel, Larsen & Toubro, Axis Bank and ICICI Bank. For most part of the day benchmarks traded with a negative bias as investors were seen booking profits at record highs. However, late buying in last 30 minutes of trade led to indexes close on a flat note. The Sensex moved in a band of 667 points and Nifty 50 index touched an intraday high of 15,168.25 and a low of 14,977.20.
The Sensex ended 20 points lower at 51,309 and Nifty 50 index slipped 3 points to settle at 15,106.
The Sensex and Nifty have gained more than 10 per cent in February on optimism from a high-spending budget and upbeat corporate earnings, but with benchmarks already scaling multiple record highs, the rally has been losing steam.
“Nifty can go down to 14,800 levels in the near term on account of profit booking at record highs. Traders should sell Nifty with target of 14,800,” Sumeet Bgadia, associate director at Choice Broking told NDTV.
Six of 11 sector gauges compiled by the National Stock Exchange ended higher led by the Nifty Realty index’s 1.6 per cent gain. Nifty Auto, IT, Pharma and PSU Bank indexes also ended higher.
On the other hand, Nifty Bank, Private Bank and Financial Service indexes ended lower.
Mid- and small-cap shares also ended higher as Nifty Midcap 100 and Nifty Smallcap 100 indexes rose 0.8 per cent.
Cipla was top Nifty gainer, the stock closed nearly 3 per cent higher at 865. Bajaj Finserv, SBI Life, HDFC Life, Mahindra & Mahindra, GAIL India, Bajaj Finance, Titan and Reliance Industries rose between 1-2.75 per cent.
On the flipside, Eicher Motors fell 2 per cent after it reported December quarter earnings. Bharti Airtel, HDFC Bank, Tata Steel, Britannia Industries, ONGC, Indian Oil, Larsen & Toubro, UPL and Axis Bank declined between 0.7-1.6 per cent.
The overall market breadth was negative as 1,588 shares ended lower while 1,406 closed higher on the BSE.