Markets ended flat on Thursday after an early surge led by banks amid reports of lower provisioning was offset by profit taking in IT majors in late trades.
The S&P BSE Sensex ended up 36 points at 25,880 after hitting an intra-day high of and the Nifty50 settled 2 points lower at 7,912 after hitting 2016 high of 7,978.45.
In the broader markets, BSE Midcap and Smallcap indices ended nearly 0.5% lower. Market breadth turned weak with 1478 losers and 1038 gainers on the BSE.
"Reports of the move by the RBI on provisioning by banks for the fourth quarter led to a rally in bank shares while IT shares weakened post their fourth quarter earnings.
"However, positive momentum remains intact as global deflationary pressures are seen receding," said G Chokkalingam, Founder and managing director, Equinomics Research and Advisory.
Institutional investors were sellers on Wednesday with foreign investors net sellers to the tune of Rs 80 crore while domestic institutional investors sold stocks worth Rs 300 crore.
IT majors led the decline with Wipro dropping over 7% after a relatively weaker revenue guidance for its IT services business.
The company is expecting its IT services revenues to be $1,901-1,939 million for the April-June 2016 quarter, reflecting a growth of one to three per cent.
Infosys and TCS ended down over 1% each on profit taking after recent gains post their robust fourth quarter earnings.
ITC ended down 1.6%. Micro retailers engaged in sale of cigarettes, bids and other tobacco products in Bhubaneswar joined the nationwide protest, opposing Government of India's new rule to impose 85 per cent graphic health warnings on tobacco products.
Banks shares edged higher after a media report suggests that the Reserve Bank of India has trimmed the list of debt-laden companies for loan provisioning in the fourth quarter ended March 31, 2016.
Lower provisioning would help lower credit costs thereby easing pressure on profitability.
According to analysts, ICICI Bank and SBI are likely to benefit the most from the RBI move.
ICICI Bank was the top Sensex gainer up over 6% after a foreign brokerage Credit Suisse upgraded the stock to outperform.
Among its peers, SBI, Axis Bank and Bank of Baroda ended up 1.7%-3.5% each.
Maruti Suzuki ended up 1% after it plans to add around 323 more dealership outlets including 123 Nexa showrooms, which is catering to premium segment of the passenger car market.
Among other stocks, Bharti Infratel extended losses to end nearly 4% lower following reports that Airtel is looking to sell 5% stake in the tower unit through an open market trade deal to raise about Rs 3,500-Rs 4,000 crore.
Alembic Pharmaceuticals gained over 7% after the company announced that it has formed 60:40 joint venture with Orbicular to develop & commercialise dermatology products for global markets.
Equitas Holdings which made a strong debut on the bourses, at Rs 145 up 32% against its initial public offer (IPO) price of Rs 110 per share ended at Rs 135.