Mumbai: Domestic equity indices took a breather on Wednesday to close on a flat note after a largely volatile trade throughout the day. The benchmark BSE Sensex, however, settled at a new closing high of 36,858.23 points, with marginal gains.
Mixed global cues and selling pressure after a largely bullish trend in the past three trading days led the indices to trim gains and end on a flat note, analysts said.
Heavy selling was witnessed in the consumer durables stocks, after they rose in the last two trading sessions boosted by tax-rate cuts on several consumer items on Saturday, they added.
The Sensex also hit a new all-time high of 36,947.18 points during the afternoon session, but could not hold on to the gains.
It closed at 36,858.23 — higher by 33.13 points or 0.09 per cent — from its previous close of 36,825.10 points.
It hit an all-time intra-day high of 36,947.18 points, and touched an intra-day low of 36,803.15 points. It had also opened at a fresh high of 36,928.06 points surpassing the previous record of 36,902.06 points touched on Tuesday.
The wider Nifty50 on the National Stock Exchange closed at 11,132 points, lower by just 2.30 points or 0.02 per cent from its previous close of 11,134.30 points.
“It was a volatile session as the index jumped from positive to negative territory
several times during the day,” said Deepak Jasani, Head of Retail Research at HDFC Securities.
BNP Paribas Mutual Fund’s Senior Fund Manager for Equities, Abhijeet Dey said: “Stock markets opened the day on a positive note but soon pared gains to trade the rest of the day in a narrow range, albeit with a positive bias.”
Globally, trade was cautious ahead of the meeting between the European Commission President, Jean-Claude Juncker, and US President Donald Trump, at the White House, Washington later in the day, he added.
Major Asian markets closed on a mixed note and European indices like FTSE 100 and DAX traded in the red, Jasani told IANS.
On the currency front, the rupee closed at 68.79, appreciating by by 16 paise from the previous close of 68.95 per dollar.
Investment-wise, provisional data with exchanges showed that foreign institutional investors sold scrip worth Rs 1,195.75 crore and the domestic institutional investors purchased stocks worth Rs 97.64 crore.
Sector-wise, the S&P BSE metal index gained the most, by 100.21 points, followed by the banking index, up 42.46 points and the finance index rose by 28.10 points.
On the contrary, the S&P BSE auto index fell by 105.79 points, the auto index was down 105.79 and the healthcare index ended lower by 50.95 points from its previous close.
The major gainers on the Sensex were State Bank of India, up 1.78 per cent at Rs 271.45; Adani Ports, up 1.53 per cent at Rs 397.50; Tata Steel, up 1.49 per cent at Rs 534.55; Vedanta, up 1.30 per cent at Rs 218.95; and ONGC, up 1.21 per cent at Rs 159 per share.
The top losers were NTPC, down 4.01 per cent at Rs 150.95; Axis Bank, down 2.59 per cent at Rs 531.85; Power Grid, down 1.29 per cent at Rs 175.65; Bharti Airtel, down 1.28 per cent at Rs 351.85; and Mahindra and Mahindra, down 1.19 per cent at Rs 909.45 per share.