Index heavyweight HDFC Bank was the biggest laggard in the Sensex pack, shedding 1.77%, followed by Bharti Airtel, Axis Bank, ONGC, Nestle India, L&T, Infosys and SBI.
Stocks ended flat for the second straight session on Wednesday bucking the global trend which was largely positive, as investors continued to book profits after the strong post-Budget rally. The Nifty declined by 2.8 points (0.02%) to close at 15,106.5 while the Sensex fell 19.69 points (0.04%) to 51,309.39. The broader market, however, ended in the green, with the Nifty Midcap 100 and Nifty Smallcap 100 gaining 0.79% and 0.74%, respectively.
Globally, markets were upbeat and were rallying at the prospect of a swift fiscal stimulus from the US, declining Covid-19 cases and vaccine rollouts. The European markets were marginally up in early trade. The Asian markets, however, witnessed a strong session with the bourses in South Korea, China and Hong Kong rallying between 0.5% and 1.91%.
Foreign portfolio investors have poured in $3 billion into the Indian equity market so far in February. They purchased stocks worth $238.2 million, according to provisional data on the exchanges. Domestic institutional investors sold stocks worth $276 million on Wednesday.
Siddhartha Khemka, head – retail research, Motilal Oswal Financial Services, said: “With markets hitting multiple new highs and valuations largely factoring in an earnings recovery, one should trade cautiously with stock-specific actions and book profit intermittently.” In the near term, the markets would track key macroeconomic data like IIP, CPI and WPI data along with global cues.