Markets pared early gains and ended on a flat note, weighed down by profit-taking in Oil & Gas and Auto shares. The Sensex ended at 17,850 - up three point. Nifty ended flat at 5,415.
On the global front, Japan's [ Images ] Nikkei average hit a three-month closing high on Thursday, reversing earlier losses as investors picked up exporters hurt by a firmer yen after the Fed signalled it is likely to launch another round of stimulus.
The Nikkei advanced 0.5 percent to 9,178.12, breaking above its five-day moving average at 9,160.09 and its 26-week moving average at 9,150.31. The benchmark lost as much as 0.8 percent to 9,062.54 earlier in the session.
The rupee rose to an over one-week high on Thursday after the euro jumped to a seven-week high on hopes of monetary easing by the Federal Reserve and as the government made it easier for companies to tap overseas funds. The rupee was trading at 55.20 versus its last close of 55.49.
On the gaining side, IT companies continue to remain in limelight on the bourses after minutes from the US Federal Reserve showed that the central bank's policy committee discussed a third round of quantitative easing at its last meeting. BSE IT Index surged 2 per cent to 5,821.
Wipro [ Get Quote ] added 2.6 per cent, followed by TCS [ Get Quote ] and Infosys [ Get Quote ]. FMCG and metal shares also moved up. While HUL added 2 per cent, metal names like Tata Steel [ Get Quote ] and Jindal Steel advanced 1.5 per cent each.
Metal index pared gains and ended up 01.5 per cent at 5,282. "The metal index has gone up because of buying interest in specific stocks, not for any positive news flow in that counter. Fundamentally the problem is that global demand is down. The fall can especially be noticed in steel and iron ore, which has declined in the last 15 days. Even the London [ Images ] Metal Exchange has been witnessing pressure. In India [ Images ], stocks such as Starelite and Tata Steel look positive in the long run," says Dhrushil Jhaveri, analyst, Prabhudas Lilladher.
However, BSE oil & gas index slipped 1 per cent to 8,426, followed by auto, capital goods and power indices.
On the losing side, Reliance [ Get Quote ] dropped 1.7 per cent to Rs 794. Larsen & Toubro, ONGC [ Get Quote ] and Mahindra & Mahindra shed 1.5 per cent each.
Shares of private bankers such as HDFC Bank [ Get Quote ] and ICICI Bank [ Get Quote ] ended flat. the stocks had risen earlier in the day they said that their businesses were not impacted by the ongoing two-day strike by public sector banks.
Among other shares, Ranbaxy Laboratories [ Get Quote ] rallied 2.3 per cent to Rs 547, extending its previous day's over 4 per cent surge after the pharmaceutical firm said that it had withdrawn 27 drugs from the US market due to commercial reasons.
Shares of all three listed airlines companies dipped more than 3 per cent each in late noon deals on buzz that UPA key ally Trinamool Congress [ Images ] strongly opposed allowing foreign direct investment (FDI) in aviation sector.
BSE market breadth was marginally negative. Out of 2,956 stocks traded, 1,455 shares delcined while 1,359 shares advanced.