Equity indices closed with mild losses for the second straight session on Wednesday, weighed by selling in banking counters, as domestic sentiment remained subdued despite a bullish trend overseas.
After swinging 666.64 points intra-day, the 30-share BSE Sensex settled 19.69 points or 0.04 per cent lower at 51,309.39.
Similarly, the broader NSE Nifty slipped 2.80 points or 0.02 per cent to close at 15,106.50.
Index heavyweight HDFC Bank was the biggest laggard in the Sensex pack, shedding 1.77 per cent, followed by Bharti Airtel, Axis Bank, ONGC, Nestle India, L&T, Infosys and SBI.
On the other hand, Bajaj Finserv, M&M, Bajaj Finance, TCS and Reliance Industries were among the gainers, spurting up to 2.96 per cent.
According to traders, investors used the higher levels as an opportunity to book profits through the day, keeping the benchmarks volatile.
“The market witnessed a slip in its momentum during a volatile day as losses in banking stocks weighed on the sentiment. Auto, realty and consumer stocks remained firm along with mid and smallcap indices outperforming.
“US markets remained positive, supported by upbeat quarterly earnings while the trend was followed by most of the global peers,” said Vinod Nair, Head of Research at Geojit Financial Services.
BSE telecom, bankex, capital goods, power and FMCG indices lost as much as 1.46 per cent, while realty, consumer durables, auto and energy ended with gains.
In the broader markets, the BSE midcap and smallcap indices outperformed the benchmark, rising up to 0.71 per cent.
Global equities remained firm, propped up by vaccine rollouts and US stimulus hopes, as investors looked ahead to a speech by US Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell.
Elsewhere in Asia, bourses in Shanghai, Hong Kong, Tokyo and Seoul ended with gains.
Stock exchanges in Europe were also trading on a positive note in early deals.
Meanwhile, the global oil benchmark Brent crude was trading 0.23 per cent higher at USD 61.36 per barrel.
The rupee firmed up by 3 paise to settle at 72.84 against the US dollar in range-bound trade.
Foreign institutional investors were net buyers in the capital market as they purchased shares worth Rs 1,300.65 crore on Tuesday, according to exchange data.