In a session that was marked by fluctuations, the benchmark Sensex ended almost unchanged as it closed in the green for the third consecutive day amid foreign inflows and rising global indices.
But investors were decidedly cautious as the valuation of several stocks appeared stretched in view of the recent rally. They were seen trimming their exposure at existing higher levels, pulling the key indices down from their day’s highs.
Buying activity gathered steam at the outset on positive economic data as industrial production expanded at 1.2% in May after a revised reading of -1.3 % in April, mainly due to uptick in consumer durable output.
But the worry is retail inflation in June inched up to a 22-month high of 5.77 % that restricted the gains, dealers said.
In a volatile trade, the BSE Sensex after opening higher moved up on the back of gains in blue-chips, but in the end, settled at 27,815.18, a measly gain of 7.04 points, or 0.03 %.
The gauge had gained 681.24 points in the previous two sessions on sustained capital inflows and extended rally in global markets on hopes that central banks will unleash more stimulus to minimise Brexit damage.
In contrast, the NSE Nifty-50 closed in the red with a fall of 1.55 points, or 0.02 %, at 8,519.50.
In the 30-share Sensex universe, 13 added to their gains. Tata Steel stole the show with a gain of 4.47 %, followed by GAIL 3.09 %, ONGC 3.01 %, Coal India 2 %, Infosys 1.46 % and TCS 1.21 %.
TCS is scheduled to report its earnings on Thursday.
Power Grid, Lupin, L&T, Maruti Suzuki, Asian Paints, Tata Motors, Axis Bank, Sun Pharma, M&M and HDFC Bank all went down by up to 2.85 %.
The metal index rose the most by climbing 1.83 %, followed by IT 0.96 %, technology 0.75 %, oil & gas 0.36 % and PSU 0.28 %.
The broader markets displayed a weak trend, with the small-cap index falling 0.82 % and the mid-cap 0.55 %.
FTIL tanked big-time as it fell 6.04 % to close at Rs 85.60 after the Enforcement Directorate arrested its founder Jignesh Shah in connection with the Rs 5,600-crore National Spot Exchange (NSEL) scam.
Shares of NBCC India plunged 10.72 % to Rs 229.80 after the Centre today approved 15 % disinvestment in state-owned construction firm NBCC, hoping to garner Rs 1,706 crore from the stake sale.
Foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) purchased shares worth a net Rs 212.92 crore on Tuesday, as per provisional data.
Japan’s Nikkei ended 0.84 % higher and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gained 0.46 % while China’s Shanghai Composite rose 0.37 %.
Europe was trading in the positive zone, tracking gains across most of Asia. London’s FTSE rose 0.19 %, Paris’ CAC 0.35 % and Frankfurt DAX 0.06 % in their early session.