The Bombay Stock Exchange benchmark Sensex on Wednesday closed flat as investors acted cautiously ahead of the Budget 2008-09.
The 30-share index, which had shot up to 18,137.28 points, ended just 19.80 points higher at 17,825.99, gaining for the fourth day in a row.
It touched the day's low of 17,770.65 as profit-booking wiped off majority of the initial gains.
Of the 30 Sensex stocks, 14 advanced with traded value of Rs 676.69 crore, while others declined with a volume of Rs 553.99 crore.
Wider Nifty of the National Stock Exchange moved between 5,368.15 and 5,249.75 points before closing at 5,268.40, showing a moderate loss of 1.65 points.
Among sectors that fell were information technology, metal, banking, consumer durables and realty. Capital goods, oil and gas, PSU, healthcare and auto segments gained.
Marketmen said the market remained in better form throughout the day but some selling in the last 30 minutes of trading following brokers squaring up their positions ahead of the general budget mainly reduced major gains.
They said cement stocks led by Grasim Industries tumbled as some leading construction units reported a fall in their realty business.