In choppy trade, the BSE benchmark Sensex today closed almost flat at 16,217.82 due to profit-booking in FMCG, oil and banking stocks after recent gains even as rupee continued its recovery for the second straight day against the US dollar.
The 30-share Sensex, which had gained 274.20 points in Thursday's trade, fell by 4.48 points. During the day, it swung between 16,118.35 and 16,273.48 points.
The 50-share NSE Nifty shed one point to close at 4,920.40 after moving between 4,935.80 and 4,889.35.
Besides, profit-booking by funds as well as retail investors after yesterday's gains, fresh selling in state-run oil marketing company stocks on speculations that the recent petrol price hike may be partially rolled back dampened the trading sentiments.
Brokers said after opening lower, markets staged a feeble comeback as rupee continued its recovery against the US dollar after the Reserve Bank indicated that it may sell dollars directly to oil companies. However, a late bout of selling wiped-off gains completely.
Meanwhile, rupee recovered to Rs. 55.24 in intra-day session from yesterday's close of 55.65 after opening lower at Rs 56.02 and touched a low of Rs. 56.07 in early trade.
Among oil company stocks, IOC fell by 2.05 % to Rs. 265.35, HPCL by 1.68 % to Rs. 300.50 and Oil India by 0.77 % to Rs 451.
Shares of RIL ended 0.64 % to Rs 692, while IT bellwether Infosys shed 0.20 % to Rs 2,372.
The auto sector stocks were again under pressure today with Maruti Suzuki losing 2.46 % to Rs 1,117.05, Mahindra and Mahindra shedding 2 %to Rs. 638.15 and Bajaj Auto dropping 0.45 % to Rs. 1,496.35.
Brokers said investors feared that the recent petrol hike may hit auto sales numbers.
Fertiliser company shares, however, attracted buying support on hopes that a timely arrival of the monsoon season would boost demand, dealers said.
Chambal Fertilisers and Chemicals rose by 1.17 % to Rs 73.50, National Fertilizers by 0.07 % to Rs. 76.75 while Fertilisers and chemicals Travancore gained 0.53 % to Rs. 28.55.