The Indian equity benchmarks ended on a flat note on Monday as gains in ITC, Kotak Mahindra Bank, Tata Consultancy Services, Power Grid and Asian Paints was offset with losses in Tata Steel, Reliance Industries, ICICI Bank, State Bank of India and Larsen & Toubro. The benchmarks staged a gap opening with Sensex rising as much as 350 points and Nifty moving above its important psychological level of 18,200. However, profit booking at higher levels led to the benchmarks coming off intraday highs, analysts said.
The Sensex ended 32 points or 0.05 per cent higher at 60,719 and Nifty 50 index advanced 7 points to settle at 18,109.
"Our research suggests that 60,600 levels will act as immediate support level for Sensex. We can expect the Sensex to trade in the range of 60,600-61,100," said Gaurav Garg, head of research, Capitalvia Global Research.
Eight of 15 sector gauges compiled by the National Stock Exchange ended higher led by the Nifty Healthcare index's over 2 per cent gain. Nifty Pharma, FMCG, Information Technology and Consumer Durable indices also rose between 1.3-1.45 per cent.
On the other hand, Nifty PSU Bank, Metal, Media, Bank and Auto indices closed lower.
Mid- and Small-cap shares ended mixed as Nifty Midcap 100 index rose 0.32 per cent while Nifty Smallcap 100 index declined 0.25 per cent.
Among market debutants, SoftBank-backed PolicyBazaar's parent PB Fintech opened at a premium 17 per cent to the IPO price. Refined wood pulp maker Sigachi Industries listed at a 250 per cent premium over its IPO price of Rs 163.
Power Grid was top Nifty gainer, the stock rose 3.13 per cent to close at Rs 188. ONGC, ITC, Cipla, UPL, Britannia Industries, Asian Paints, Divi's Labs, Nestle India and Kotak Mahindra Bank also rose between 1-2.5 per cent.
On the flipside, Coal India fell 4.3 per cent after an international agreement to reduce coal use dragged miners' shares lower. Tata Steel, Hindalco, Eicher Motors, SBI Life, JSW Steel, Shree Cements, Mahindra & Mahindra, HDFC Life, Bajaj Auto and State Bank of India also fell between 0.7-3.3 per cent.
The overall market breadth was negative as 2,113 shares ended lower while 1,305 closed higher on the BSE.