MUMBAI: After trading at a fresh high for most of the day, the Indian equity markets on Thursday closed on a flat note as investors booked profits.
Besides, weak global cues and heavy selling pressure in almost all sectors, led by oil and gas, metal and capital goods, pulled the key equity indices lower.
The wider Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) slipped by 3.60 points, or 0.04 per cent, to close at 9,630 points.
However, the 30-scrip Sensitive Index (Sensex) of the BSE, which opened at 31,351.53 points, closed at 31,290.74 points -- up a mere 7.10 points, or 0.02 per cent, from its previous close at 31,283.64 points.
The Sensex touched a fresh high of 31,522.87 points during intra-day trade. It had touched a high of 31,430.32 points on June 6.
The BSE market breadth was bearish -- with 1,545 declines and 1,115 advances.
The broader market indices underperformed the Sensex. The S&P BSE mid-cap index was down 0.59 per cent and the small-cap index by 0.54 per cent.
"Markets ended with marginal losses on Thursday after a volatile session. The Nifty reversed trend after hitting its highest intra-day level in more than two weeks in early afternoon trade," Deepak Jasani, Head - Retail Research, HDFC Securities, told IANS.
"Major Asian markets have ended on a mixed note. European indices like FTSE 100, CAC 40 and DAX traded lower."
On the currency front, the rupee weakened by 6-7 paise to 64.59 to a US dollar from its previous close of 64.52.
"In the second half of the session, profit booking was seen and being weekly Bank Nifty expiry, traders took profits off the table. The volume in index options was double than yesterday (Wednesday) on account of weekly bank nifty expiry," said Dhruv Desai, Director and Chief Operating Officer of Tradebulls.
"Barring bank, all other sectors traded in red. Top gainers in NSE were Sun Pharma, HDFC, Auro Pharma and Yes Bank, while IOC, Lupin, ONGC and Hindalco were top losers," he added.
Sector-wise, the S&P BSE oil and gas index declined by 244.85 points, the metal index by 151.64 points, and the capital goods index by 128.40 points.
On the other hand, the S&P BSE banking index was up by 42.31 points, the finance index by 8.01 points and the telecom index by 0.20 points.
Major Sensex gainers on Thursday were: Sun Pharma, up 2.03 per cent at Rs 538.70; State Bank of India, up 1.50 per cent at Rs 294.55; HDFC, up 1.41 per cent at Rs 1,650.35; Reliance Industries, up 1.06 per cent at Rs 1,433.15; and Bajaj Auto, up 1.02 per cent at Rs 2,850.
Major Sensex losers were: ONGC, down 2.82 per cent at Rs 160.50; Hindustan Unilever, down 2.62 per cent at Rs 1,094.25; Lupin, down 2.49 per cent at Rs 1,066.95; Power Grid, down 2.11 at Rs 201.60; and Dr. Reddy's Lab, down 2.05 per cent at Rs 2,629.45.