The Indian equity benchmarks pared gains as investors booked profits at record highs ahead of the weekend as volatility spiked. Earlier in the day, the Sensex rose as much as 596 points to hit an intraday high of 59,737.32 and Nifty 50 index touched an all-time high of 17,792.95. Profit booking in recent outperforming banking and metal shares weighed on the upmove and led to the benchmarks trade on a flat note in noon deals. The Sensex fell as much as 646 points from record high and Nifty touched an intraday low of 17,587.80. India VIX, the fear index rose over 7 per cent.
As of 1:52 pm, the Sensex was up 0.24 per cent or 144 points at 59,284 and Nifty 50 index was up 23 points at 17,652.
Nine of 15 sector gauges compiled by the National Stock Exchange were trading lower led by the Nifty PSU Bank index's over 3 per cent fall. Nifty Metal, Realty, Pharma, Healthcare and Bank indices were also trading lower.
On the other hand, media and financial services shares were witnessing mild buying interest while IT, auto and consumer durable indices were trading on a subdued note.
Mid- and small-cap shares succumbed to selling pressure as Nifty Smallcap 100 index dropped 0.85 per cent and Nifty Midcap 100 index tumbled 1 per cent.
Among the individual shares, Bengaluru-based Biocon rose as much as 5.75 per cent to hit an intraday high of ₹ 398.60 on the BSE after the company said that its material subsidiary - Biocon Biologics (BBL) - has entered into a strategic alliance with Serum Institute Life Sciences (SILS), a wholly owned arm of Serum Institute of India.
Kotak Mahindra Bank was top Nifty gainer, the stock rose 4.5 per cent to Rs 1,993. Bajaj Finserv, Bajaj Finance, Maruti Suzuki, Bharti Airtel, Eicher Motors, Nestle India and HCL Tech were also among the gainers.
On the flipside, Tata Steel, Coal India, ONGC, State Bank of India, UPL, JSW Steel, HDFC Life, Hindalco, ICICI Bank and NTPC were among the losers.
The overall market breadth turned extremely negative as 2,157 shares closed lower while 1,081 were advancing on the BSE.