In volatile trade, the Sensex on Thursday achieved another milestone by touching a new trading peak of 14,697.69 but closed barely steady on alternate bouts of buying and selling.
Index-based shares like ICICI Bank, BHEL, HDFC, Infosys Tech, Maruti, L&T and SBI stole the show, while the metal sector was on the back foot following a weak trend in metal prices on the London Metal Exchange (LME).
The Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) 30-share sensitive index, Sensex, which was down by nearly 120 points at midsession at 14,523.16, recovered smartly to close at another all-time high of 14,652.09, a small rise of 8.96 points or 0.06 per cent over yesterday's close of 14,643.13.
The broader S&P CNX Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) also struck a new trading high of 4,245.30 before ending steady at 4,223.40 as against the previous close of 4,224.25, a mere fall of 0.85 points or 0.02 per cent.
At every higher level, the mood generally turned somewhat cautious as investors opted to book profits rather than make fresh purchases in the market ahead of the forthcoming Union Budget, dealers said.
Good amount of buying was seen in some bank and capital goods shares, which helped the Sensex to close in positive terrain, they added.
Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs) continued their buying spree and reportedly picked up shares worth Rs 1665.60 crore in three sessions from February 2 and also pumped in Rs 543.30 crore (provisional) on February 7. Domestic mutual funds, however, remained the net seller.