NEW DELHI: The domestic equity benchmarks Nifty50 and Sensex ended flat on Wednesday as market participants remained cautious ahead of quarterly results by later this week.
Profit-booking in recent gainers led by consumer durables, banks, capital goods, financials and auto shares too played the damp squib.
The Nifty50 index deducted five points to settle at 10,632, while 30-share Sensex closed 10 points down at 34,433 on Wednesday.
Out of 50 stocks in the Nifty50 index, 17 ended Wednesday's session in the green, while 33 remained in the grip of bears.
Bank stocks remained among the top laggards on Wednesday. All PSU bank stocks in the Nifty PSU Bank index settled in the red. Among the private banks, IDFC Bank gained over 1 per cent on reports of a merger deal with the Mumbai-based Capital First.
"IDFC and Capital First are exploring merger options and are in the initial stage of merging the two," said a source familiar with the development.
UPL, Eicher Motors, NTPC and Dr. Reddy's Laboratories also stood among the losers.
On the other hand, IT stocks hogged limelight on Wednesday. Tata Consultancy Services, Wipro, HCL Technologies and Tech Mahindra emerged as the top gainers in the Nifty50 index after rupee slipped by 6 paise at 63.77 against the greenback in afternoon deals on sustained bouts of dollar buying by banks.
Shares of Tata Consultancy Services hit a fresh 52-week high of 2,816 ahead of October-December quarterly earnings, expected on Thursday.
Realty stocks such as Indiabulls Real Estate, Oberoi Realty and Godrej Properties also saw gains of over 4 per cent on Wednesday.
Barring Nifty IT, realty and metal, all sectoral indices closed the day in the negative territory on NSE.
Retail sector stocks traded mixed after Union Cabinet approved 100 per cent FDI in single-brand retail on Wednesday.
As many as 146 stocks hit fresh 52-week highs on NSE, compared with 8 stocks that hit fresh 52-week lows on Wednesday.
Asian shares slipped slightly from testing their 2007 record peak on Wednesday due to profit-booking, on the back of oil prices hitting three-year highs due to production cuts.
European shares traded slightly lower on Wednesday morning, over concerns on the direction of the bond market after the 10-year US Treasury went above 2.55 per cent for the first time since March 2017, Reuters reported.