The BSE benchmark Sensex today rose to new life-time high of 22,853.03 in early trade, but ended the day flat due to profit-booking, particularly in IT, metal and auto stocks.
Supported by buying in capital goods and realty counters initially, the 30-share bellwether set a fresh life-time high in early trade amid firm Asian cues.
However, it declined afterwards due to profit-booking and ended the day at 22,758.37, a loss of mere 6.46 points from its previous close.
The 50-share Nifty of NSE also closed 2.30 points lower at 6,815.35 after hitting a historic high of 6,838 intra day.
Brokers said persistent capital inflows too kept the market tempo stable initially. Foreign institutional investors (FIIs) continued their buying spree as they invested a net Rs 212.85 crore yesterday, as per provisional data from the stock exchanges.
Traders said markets may remain volatile tomorrow on the last day of the expiry of F&O April contract.
"Sentiments were positive in early trade in response to a statement from rating agency CRISIL that stable government post-elections will help economy grow at an average of 6.5 per cent for the next five years.
"However, upside remained capped in index on the back of profit-taking ahead of F&O expiry," said Jayant Manglik, President, Retail Distribution, Religare Securities.
Sesa Sterlite plummeted 4.01 per cent, a day after it jumped over 4 per cent. Wipro was the other big loser at 2.80 per cent. SBI ended a little over 1 per cent down, while the loss for Infosys, Maruti Suzuki, M&M, Tata Motors and ITC were less than 1 per cent.
"Going ahead, fourth quarter results of FY14 and global cues shall dictate market trend," said Rakesh Goyal,Senior Vice President, Bonanza Portfolio.
Of the 30-share Sensex pack, 18 ended lower while the remaining 12 finished higher.
L&T rose by 1.65 per cent and Gail India 1.41 per cent. The other prominent gainer was HDFC Bank at 1.36 per cent.
Among the BSE sectoral indices, metal was down 0.79 per cent, followed by IT 0.55 per cent, Teck 0.52 per cent and FMCG 0.46 per cent.
Capital goods rose by 1.19 per cent and Oil&Gas 1.15 per cent.
The market breadth remained positive as 1,525 stocks ended in the green, 1,324 stocks finished in the red and 125 ruled steady. The total turnover shot up to Rs 2,721.21 crore from Rs 2,384.20 crore yesterday.
On global front, most Asian markets ended higher after Wall Street stocks extended gains into a fifth day, though investors continued to see tensions in Ukraine as a threat to risk appetite.
Key benchmark indices in South Korea, Taiwan, China and Singpaore rose by 0.25-0.34 per cent, while indices in Hong Kong and Japan eased by 0.13-0.85 per cent.