The benchmark Sensex pared early gains and ended flat on the Bombay Stock Exchange on Friday on profit-booking after a 6.4 per cent jump over the last two sessions, amid a weak opening in Europe.
The Sensex, which gained 850 points in the previous two sessions and added 239 points in on Thursday's trading, ended a shade lower by 2.99 points at 14,250.25. The key index shuttled between 14,493.10 and 14,169.58 during the day.
The 50-share National Stock Exchange index Nifty also ended 2.10 points lower at 4,231.40, after moving between 4,305.00 and 4,205.50.
Marketmen said selling pressure sparked following reports of European stocks commencing the day lower, encouraging speculators to book profits at higher levels.
SMC Global Vice-President Rajesh Jain said, "After around 10 per cent rally in the market for the past two days, there has been sideways consolidation today. As of now the correction seems to be over for the Indian market as the global cues are positive and FIIs are pouring in money." Brokers said the falling trend was checked following encouraging quarterly results by leading companies.
Auto and refinery shares were in demand after Reliance Industries led the gains by adding Rs 59.30, or 3.16 per cent, to Rs 1,934.30. Infosys Technologies rose by Rs 4.15 or 3.20 per cent to Rs 1,144.05. The two carry nearly 27 per cent weight in the Sensex.
The market did a flip-flop and fell sharply at the fag end even as inflation rose marginally to minus 1.21 per cent and European markets slipped in early trade after a three-day surge.
Initially, the market hit the intra-day high on the back of firm Asian cues and positive FII activity influenced by a firm Asian stock markets on encouraging US manufacturing data.
The BSE auto index spurted by 1.95 per cent because of handsome gains in Maruti Suzuki and Tata Motors while the BSE oil & gas index shot up 1.88 per cent on a sharp rise in the country's largest private sector company Reliance Industries.
Auto shares such as Bajaj Auto jumped 5.12 per cent, Maruti Suzuki 3.20 per cent, Hero Honda 3.10 per cent, Bharat Forge 2.90 per cent, Tata Motors 2.62 per cent and Apollo Tyres by 1.20 per cent.
GAIL India gained 3.69 per cent, RIL 3.16 per cent, REL Petro 2.69 per cent, Abban Offshore 2.59 per cent and RNRL 1.26 per cent.
Sterlite Ind, however, dropped by 6.12 per cent, Reliance Infra by 3.97 per cent, Jaiprakash Associates by 3.66 per cent and L&T by 3.65 per cent.
The market breadth was positive with 1,465 gainers as against 1,131 losers on the BSE.