Mumbai: Benchmark Sensex ended marginally lower in volatile trade on Wednesday as wary investors remained on the sidelines ahead of the corporate results season.
Participants pocketed gains in auto, IT, oil and gas, teck and healthcare counters, which dragged the index lower in fag-end trading.
The 30-share Sensex opened a shade higher at 33,929.61 and advanced to 33,998.37, before falling to a low of 33,765.43. It recovered some lost ground on value-buying and finally ended the day at 33,793.38, down 18.88 points, or 0.06 percent. The gauge had lost 244.57 points in the previous two sessions.
The broader NSE Nifty finished at 10,443.20, up just 1 point, or 0.01 percent. Intra-day, it hovered between 10,503.60 and 10,429.55.
"Market pared early gains due to lack of domestic triggers and rising oil prices impacting the premium valuation while global macros stayed positive and is giving support.
"Metals outperformed on expectation of earnings growth whereas auto stocks witnessed profit booking after the recent run up. Investors are awaiting the result season for signs of earnings upgrade," said Vinod Nair, Head of Research, Geojit Financial Services.
Meanwhile, foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) net bought shares worth Rs 522.74 crore on Tuesday. Domestic institutional investors (DIIs) also bought equities to the tune of Rs 64.70 crore.
Dr Reddy's was the biggest loser in the Sensex pack, sinking 2.97 percent.
Other laggards were Wipro, ONGC, Bajaj Auto, Maruti Suzuki, Tata Motors, HDFC Bank, Infosys, NTPC, Sun Pharma, IndusInd Bank, Kotak Bank and HDFC Ltd, losing up to 2.73 percent.
On the other hand, Adani Ports climbed 2.78 percent, followed by L&T, ICICI Bank, Yes Bank, Coal India, Power Grid and Tata Steel.
Reliance Industries rose 0.54 percent after the recent commissioning of a refinery off-gas cracker at Jamnagar.
Hero MotoCorp edged up 0.17 percent following a healthy 43 percent jump in December sales.
Titan rose 1.30 percent after the company said its third-quarter jewellery retail growth is in-line with its expectation.
Punjab and Sind Bank jumped 3.32 percent.
Fertiliser stocks were in demand. Nagarjuna Fertilizers gained 19.91 percent, Rashtriya Chemicals and Fertilizers Ltd 5.72 percent, Gujarat State Fertilizers 2.49 percent, National Fertilizers 4.05 percent, Zuari Agro Chemicals 2.46 percent, Mangalore Chemicals 3.59 percent and Chambal Fertilisers 2.07 percent.
Most of the damage came from the auto index, which fell 0.55 percent. IT, oil and gas, teck and healthcare were the other losers in the sectoral space.
Bucking the trend, the BSE small-cap index rose 0.98 percent while mid-caps gained 0.53 percent.
Overseas, Asian markets finished higher. Hong Kong's Hang Seng rose 0.15 percent and Shanghai Composite was up 0.62 percent. The Japanese market was shut.
European stocks too joined the global market upmove in their early deals.
Key indices in Paris and Germany advanced up to 0.28 percent. London's FTSE too rose 0.01 percent.
Updated Date: Jan 03, 2018 17:18 PM