Sensex at three-month high, closes above 14,300-mark
The stock markets ended flat after a see-saw ride between positive and negative territories with the benchmark BSE Sensex gaining a mere 3.7 points to settle above the 14,300-mark for the first time in three months.
Auto and metal shares declined, led by Bajaj Auto which dropped 8.5 per cent on demerger concerns. But a rally in heavyweight Reliance Industries, which touched a record high of 1,705, and upsurge in bank stocks supported the Sensex.
The Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) 30-share sensitive index, opened lower at 14,261.47 and continued to veer in and out of positive terrain in a range of 14,337.06 and 14,201.01.
It later concluded in the day at 14,303.41, a gain of 0.03 per cent over Thursday's close of 14,299.71.
Friday's close is the highest since February 19, when the index ended at 14,402.90 points. The Sensex had touched its highest peak of 14,723.88 points on February 9.
The broad-based S&P CNX Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE), however, ended slightly lower by 5.05 points or 0.12 per cent to 4,214.50 from the previous close of 4,219.55.
Dealers attributed the two-way movements to alternate bouts of buying and selling on the last day of the week.
Auto-major, Bajaj Auto suffered a sharp setback for the second successive day after approval of a demerger scheme on Thursday, splitting the group into three separate entities. Other auto shares like Tata motors and Maruti also ended weak.
Metal shares also were at the receiving end following a fall in metal prices on the London Metal Exchange (LME) on Thursday as copper hit a 3-month low.