The Indian equity benchmarks ended Tuesday's volatile session on a flat note as gains in Reliance Industries, Kotak Mahindra Bank, HDFC Bank and ONGC were offset by losses in ICICI Bank, Infosys, Axis Bank, Tata Consultancy Services and Hindustan Unilever. The benchmarks opened higher wherein the Sensex rose as much as 363 points to hit record high of 52,516.76 and Nifty touched an all-time high of 15,431.75. However, the benchmarks gave up gains in noon deals on account of weakness in Nifty Bank index.
The Sensex ended 50 points lower at 52,104.17 and Nifty 50 index slipped 1 point to close at 15,313.
Traders were seen booking profits at record highs in recent outperforming banking and financial services shares after the Nifty Bank index rose over 20 per cent in February, analysts said.
Seven of 11 sector gauges compiled by the National Stock Exchange ended higher led by the Nifty IT index's 1.5 per cent fall. Nifty Bank, Private Bank, Financial Services, FMCG and Media indices also declined in the range of 0.3-0.7 per cent.
On the other hand, metal, PSU Bank and pharma stocks witnessed buying interest.
Mid- and small-cap shares outperformed their larger peers as Nifty Midcap 100 index rose 0.4 per cent and Nifty Smallcap 100 index rose 0.15 per cent.
Shares of Indian Overseas Bank, Bank of India, Central Bank of India and Bank of Maharashtra rallied as much as 20 per cent on report that the government has shortlisted four mid-sized state-run banks for privatisation. The four banks on the shortlist are Bank of Maharashtra, Bank of India, Indian Overseas Bank and the Central Bank of India, news agency Reuters reported citing sources.
Following this report, Indian Overseas Bank stock price rose by its daily maximum limit of 20 per cent to hit an intraday high of Rs 13.20. Central Bank of India advanced 15.6 per cent to hit high of Rs 16.12, Bank of India climbed 15 per cent to hit fresh 52-week high of Rs 67.70 and Bank of Maharshtra rallied 20 per cent to hit a high of Rs 19.10.
ICICI Bank was top Nifty loser, the stock fell 2.34 per cent to close at Rs 658. Axis Bank, Eicher Motors, Nestle India, Tata Motors, Infosys, State Bank of India, Divi's Labs, TCS, Hindustan Unilever and Bajaj Finserv also fell between 0.7-2.2 per cent.
On the flipside, Power Grid, ONGC, Tata Steel, Hindaclo, NTPC, Kotak Mahindra Bank, Indian Oil, Adani Ports, Reliance Industries and Coal India rose between 1-6 per cent.
The overall market breadth was negative as 1,628 shares ended lower while 1,348 ended higher on the BSE.