A dramatic fag-end selling in select counters pulled the benchmark Sensex down from a new six-week high notched up earlier in the day to end almost flat, notwithstanding firm global cues and rising optimism about the sustainability of high economic economy.
The Bombay Stock Exchange 30-share bellwether index touched a high of 17,361.27 in mid-afternoon trade before succumbing to heavy sell-off, on worries about rising food inflation, which touched 17.47 per cent during the third week of November from 15.58 per cent a week ago.
The markets ended choppy session at 1,7185.68 points, a paltry gain of 15.77 points or 0.09 per cent.
At the days high, the Sensex was up by over 191 points, on back of strong Asian trends and the rising optimism about the economic recovery as forecast by Goldman Sachs on Thursday.
Brokers said the market lost the momentum as cautious operators and investors took to profit selling at higher levels by for the second straight day.
With the economy on an upswing, analysts said the rising food prices should prompt the government and the Reserve Bank to shift their focus on controlling inflation, otherwise it would increase manufacturing inflation too.
The market ignored strong trends in global markets. In Asia, besides China which ended in the red, other leading indices like Hang Seng, Nikkei, Singapore Straight Times, Korean Kopsi and Taiwan closed in the positive terrain between 0.1 per cent and 3.8 per cent gains at close.
European markets were also trading higher by nearly one per cent in their morning deals.