India’s equity benchmarks erased intraday gains to end on a flat note as investors trimmed positions ahead of the union budget to be announced on Tuesday, analysts said. During the session, Sensex rose 807 points and the Nifty 50 index hit an intraday high of 17,373 and a low of 17,077.
The Sensex finished 77 points or 0.13% lower at 57,200 and the Nifty 50 index slipped 8 points to close at 17,102.
Investors saw profits in recently outperforming bank stocks like ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank, Maruti Suzuki, Axis Bank and State Bank of India. However, losses were capped as IT stocks generated buying interest on buying value.
Nine of the 15 sector indicators compiled by the National Stock Exchange ended higher, led by the 1.5% gain in the Nifty Healthcare index. Real estate, pharmaceutical, media, IT and FMCG stocks also generated buying interest.
On the other hand, the banking, automotive, financial services, PSU banking and private banking indices ended lower.
Mid and small cap stocks outperformed their larger counterparts, with the Nifty Midcap 100 Index up 1.5% and the Nifty Smallcap 100 Index up 1%.
NTPC was Nifty’s top earner, the stock rose nearly 4% to close at Rs 140. UPL, Sun Pharma, Tata Consumer Products, IndusInd Bank, ONGC, Mahindra & Mahindra, Indian Oil and Bharti Airtel also rose between 1.4 and 2.5%. .
On the other hand, Maruti Suzuki, Tech Mahindra, Power Grid, ICICI Bank, Hero MotoCorp, Axis Bank, Bajaj Finserv and State Bank of India were among the major losers from Nifty.
The overall market breadth was positive as 1,988 stocks ended higher while 1,368 closed lower on BSE.