The BSE benchmark Sensex today ended flat, while NSE Nifty rose to a fresh high of 6,595.55 points with foreign funds buying banking stocks even as refinery shares plunged.
The 30-share Sensex, which climbed to all-time high in the previous session, was volatile before ending 0.27 points lower at 22,055.21.
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The key index hit a record intra-day high of 22,079.96 with State Bank of India and ICICI Bank extending gains.
The National Stock Exchange index, Nifty, surged to a fresh high of 6,589.75 by adding 6.25 points.
Brokers said the market sentiment was low as stocks of oil producers, led by Reliance Industries, slumped after the Election Commission asked the government to defer a planned hike in gas prices that was to come into effect from April 1.
A higher opening in European markets and foreign funds picking banking stocks on expectations that RBI will hold key interest rate in its policy review next week supported the market to some extent.
Of Sensex stocks, 15 declined and 14 ended lower, while Cipla held unchanged at Rs 391.20.
Reliance Industries, Infosys Ltd, Gail and Oil & Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) were down, while were State Bank of India (SBI), ICICI Bank, Housing Development Finace Corporation, BHEL, Coal India, Hero MotoCorp, Hindustan Unilever and Tata Steel supported markets.
The oil and gas sector index suffered the most by losing 1.46 per cent to 9,166.70, followed by IT index by 0.77 per cent to 8,802.19. Teck index fell by 0.56 per cent to 4,881.80 and healthcare index by 0.06 per cent to 10,256.88.
Shrikant Chouhan, Head- Technical Research, Kotak Securities:
Nifty after opening on the downside, quickly recovered the lost ground and on a firm note has closed on fresh highs just below 6600. Positive action was witnessed in banks – Capital goods. IT and Pharma majors were weak for the day. Oil and Gas was dampener at start of session, but ONGC recovered as the day progressed. For the coming sessions, 6630-6650 can act as resistance for the market. Profit booking can be witnessed at those levels based on average performance from the current swing rally from 200 days average. Break below 6550 will be dampener in the near term for positive