The BSE benchmark Sensex failed to maintain earlier gains due to fag-end selling pressure mainly in PSU, FMCG, and metal counters in spite of rise in consumer durable and IT counters.
Banking stocks led initial gains on the bourses following reports the Cabinet has cleared the much awaited Banking Law (Amendment) Bill.
The BSE benchmark Sensex resumed higher at 17,145.29 and shot up further to a day's high of 17,242.15 on good buying support in select counters, but moved down afterwards to 17,022.09 before ending the day at 17,134.25, showing a mere gain of 3.58 points of 0.02 per cent.
The NSE 50-share Nifty also inched up by 1.60 points or 0.03 per cent to finish at 5,190.60.
Foreign institutional investors (FIIs) sold shares worth Rs 376.08 crore on Thursday as per provisional data from the stock exchanges. FIIs have sold shares worth Rs 1985.18 crore in four days from April 23 to April 26.
The stock exchanges are holding a special 1-1/2-hour trading session on Saturday, April 28, as the National Stock Exchange (NSE) is upgrading the capacity of its futures and options (F&O) trading system hardware and software to improve processing capability and handle increased activities in the market. Trading will start at 11.15 am and end at 12.45 pm.
European stock markets were trading higher, in a choppy market, with drug makers providing support after solid Sanofi SA earnings, while pressure remained on Spain after a double-notch credit downgrade.