The benchmark Sensex on the Bombay Stock Exchange on Thursday ended almost unchanged after recovering over 200-point mid-session losses but the blue chip IT stocks suffered hefty losses on smart rise of the rupee against the US dollar.
Markets failed to keep the momentum of two-day winning race, which saw the BSE barometer rising by handsome 680.26 points points, despite inflation declining to seven-month low of eight per cent.
Brokers said funds treaded a cautious path after Reserve Bank Governor D Subbarao's comments that the next financial year coulee be a more difficult year. However, mid-cap and small-cap stocks surged with retail investors showing keen interest in buying.
Market men said the bellwether index one hand gained on expectations of more incentives for the economic growth, on other a fresh fall in stocks of software exporting companies following a rise in Indian rupee kept the market volatile.
The 30-share barometer settled the day at 9,645.46, lower by 9.44 points or 0.10 per cent from its previous close.
The Sensex had opened the day stronger by nearly 90 points but barely after an hour it went down on profit selling.
On alternate bouts of buying and selling, which were influenced by mixed turned in Asian markets in spite of a rally in the Wall Street, the bellwether index moved between 9,746.01 and 9,441.97 points. US stocks ended higher overnight on heightened expectations of bailout package for the auto majors by the Federal Government.
Most of Asian benchmark indices, including Japan's Nikkei 225 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng, also closed flat today while European markets were also trading unchanged in their early trade.
The 50-share Nifty of NSE also ended marginally down by 8.10 points at 2,920.15 from its last close.