The Indian equity benchmarks ended flat as gains in information technology shares were offset with losses in banking, financial services and metal stocks. The benchmarks staged a gap up opening and traded firmly higher wherein the Sensex rose over 450 points and Nifty 50 index touched an intraday high of 15,051.60. Rising coronavirus cases in the country and latest retail inflation figures are dampening the investor sentiment, analysts said.
The Sensex ended lower by 31 points at 50,363.96 and Nifty 50 index declined 19 points to 14,910.
"The market opened with a gap up after the US market hit all-time high before closing the market yesterday. Sentiments remained strong as the government data showing that the country's exports have increased for the third consecutive quarter. On the global front, Asian markets were trading in the green as bond yields have eased and optimism over US stimulus and globally market are keeping their eyes on US federal reserve which is to be at the end of this week," said Gaurav Garg, head of research at CapitalVia Global Research.
Seven of 11 sector gauges compiled by the National Stock Exchange were trading lower led by the Nifty PSU Bank index's 1 per cent decline. Nifty Bank, Private Bank, Metal and Realty shares were also facing selling pressure.
On the other hand, IT shares were going strong in afternoon trading with the Nifty IT index advanced over 1.5 per cent. FMCG stocks were also trading firmly higher.
Mid- and small-cap shares were also witnessing some buying interest as Nifty Midcap 100 and Nifty Smallcap 100 indexes rose 0.3 per cent.
Asian Paints, Dr Reddy's Labs, TCS, HCL Technologies, Bharti Airtel, Hindustan Unilever, UltraTech Cement, ITC, Britannia Industries, Wipro, Tech Mahindra and Maruti Suzuki were among the top Nifty gainers.
On the flipside, Larsen & Toubro, Cipla, Tata Steel, State Bank of India, Coal India, Bharat Petroleum, JSW Steel, Divi's Labs, HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank and Indian Oil were among the losers.
The overall market breadth was neutral as 1,485 shares were advancing while 1,429 were declining on the BSE.