After trading on a volatile note for most of the day, key Indian equity indices on Thursday closed on a flat-to-positive note on the back of an upward rally in the S&P BSE consumer durables index and healthy buying in index heavyweights like Bharti Airtel, ICICI Bank, Tata Steel and Reliance Industries.
Both the benchmark indices -- the NSE Nifty50 and the BSE Sensex -- which opened on a higher note, supported by value buying and positive Asian cues, gave up their gains during the mid-afternoon trade session as investors booked profits in healthcare stocks.
The indices recouped from the lows during the last hour of trade.
The wider Nifty50 of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) closed the day's trade at 10,308.95 points, higher by 5.80 points, or 0.06 per cent.
The 30-scrip S&P BSE Sensex, which opened at 33,376.62 points, closed at 33,250.93 points -- up 32.12 points or 0.10 per cent -- from Wednesday's close.
The BSE market breadth was bullish -- 1,457 advances and 1,255 declines.
In terms of the broader markets, the BSE mid-cap closed higher by 0.98 per cent and the small-cap index by 0.76 per cent.
According to Dhruv Desai, Director and Chief Operating Officer of Tradebulls, benchmark indices ended flat as oil prices fell overnight after they hit a more than two-year high earlier in the week.
"The Sensex rose over 200 points in opening trade on Thursday, breaking its two-session losing streak on value-buying by investors and optimism ahead of a GST council meet," Desai told IANS.
"Buying by domestic institutional institutions (DIIs) and a firm trend on other Asian bourses, tracking overnight gains in the US markets, influenced trading sentiment. However, the benchmark indices fell in afternoon trade," he added.
Provisional data with the exchanges showed that on Wednesday, DIIs invested in scrips worth Rs 3,038.16 crore.
On the currency front, the rupee close almost flat at 64.94 against the US dollar from its previous close at 64.95-96.
Vinod Nair, Head of Research, Geojit Financial Services, said: "Market extended the consolidation phase on profit booking. However, renewed buying in consumer durables restricted further fall in the market on expectation of reducing taxes for product coming under 28 per cent GST tax bracket."
"Albeit, investors are watchful ahead of key domestic macros CPI (consumer price index) inflation and IIP (index of industrial production) data and global oil price fluctuation to get the direction."
Sector-wise, the S&P BSE consumer durables index zoomed by 634.05 points, followed by banking index, up 152.15 points, and capital goods index up 82.80 points.
On the other hand, the S&P BSE automobile index fell by 62.42 points, healthcare index by 38.20 points and oil and gas index by 5.53 points.
Major Sensex gainers on Thursday were: Bharti Airtel, up 2.39 per cent at Rs 507; Asian Paints, up 2.08 per cent at Rs 1,195.25; ICICI Bank, up 1.90 per cent at Rs 311.60; Tata Steel, up 1.66 per cent at Rs 703.30; and Reliance Industries, up 1.50 per cent at Rs 901.55.
Major Sensex losers were: ITC, down 2 per cent at Rs 260.10; Coal India, down 1.70 per cent at Rs 283.10; ONGC, down 1.33 per cent at Rs 189.50; Lupin, down 1.24 per cent at Rs 832.10; and HDFC, down 1.21 per cent at Rs 1,725.90.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)