Buying in select banking and automobile stocks helped markets pare steep losses, logged earlier today, and flat on Wednesday. Investors turned to profit-booking, after benchmarks scaled fresh lifetime highs in the morning deals, and dragged the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex lower by 731 points from record peak of 49,795 levels. The Nifty50 slipped 217 points from new peak of 14,653.
At close, the S&P BSE Sensex was at 49,492 levels, down 25 points or 0.05 per cent. Individually, M&M jumped nearly 6 per cent on the BSE today and re-entered the Rs 1-trillion m-cap club. At close, its market cap stood at Rs 1.02 trillion on the BSE.
That apart, SBI surged 4.5 per cent, ITC (2.4 per cent) and Bharti Airtel (2 per cent), to end the day as top gainers on the Sensex. Losses in Bajaj Finance (3 per cent), HDFC (2.6 per cent), Reliance Industries (1 per cent), and HDFC Bank (0.5 per cent) put pressure on markets.
On NSE, the Nifty held the 14,550-mark and closed at 14,565 level, up 1.4 points or 0.1 per cent.
Sectorally, Nifty Pharma ended 1 per cent lower. On the upside, Nifty PSU index surged 3.3 per cent and ended as an outperformer for second straight day.
In the broader market, the S&P BSE MidCap ended 0.6 per cent lower at 19,087.59 while the S&P BSE SmallCap index slipped 0.4 per cent at 18,850.66.
Asian stocks rose on Wednesday, tracking modest Wall Street gains, as expectations that a vaccine will eventually win the battle against the coronavirus fuelled recovery hopes, while tight supply expectations pushed oil prices to a one-year high.
MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.61 per cent, while Japan's Nikkei 225 ended 1.04 per cent higher. South Korea's KOSPI gained 0.7 per cent, and Australia's S&P/ASX 200 reversed losses and added 0.11 per cent at close. China's Shanghai Composite, however, ended 0.27 per cent down.
In Europe, stocks were little changed on Wednesday as a profit warning from Danish wind farm developer Orsted hit utilities, while French grocer Carrefour jumped following merger talks. the pan-European STOXX 600 index rose just 0.1 per cent, as utilities were a drag after Orsted slumped 7.5 per cent on warning a return to more normal wind speeds this year would hit operating earnings.
The German DAX remained muted as Health Minister Jens Spahn said the country will not be able to lift all restrictions imposed to curb the spread of the coronavirus at the beginning of February.