The BSE Sensex ended flat on Wednesday, off the record highs hit a day earlier, as IT outsourcing companies fell on concerns about their revenues, while investors also booked profits in recent outperformers such as ONGC.
Shares of Tata Consultancy Services fell as much as 5.1 per cent after analysts cited the company as saying revenue growth from software services could be weakening from the previous quarter.
Global risk factors also weighed on shares ahead of the US Federal Reserve’s policy review later in the day and as investors still monitor developments over Crimea and Ukraine.
Still, foreign investors, who have been driving the rally in this month, have stuck to India, buying a net $165.7 million worth of shares on Tuesday to mark their 21st buying session in the previous 22.
“Index continues to trade in a narrow range with high intraday volatility and extreme stock-specific actions,” said Vinod Nair, head-fundamental research, Geojit BNP Paribas Financial Services.
Nair said this could signal a loss of momentum ahead of the general elections due next month.
The Sensex ended up 0.25 points at 21,832.86, away from the record high of 22,040.72 hit on Tuesday. The Nifty closed higher 0.11 per cent, or 7.40 points, at 6,524.05, also off the all-time high of 6,574.95 in the previous day.
TCS shares ended down 3.89 per cent after analysts cited the company as expressing caution about revenue growth in the current quarter at a briefing on Tuesday. The software services exporter declined to comment.
The comments came after Infosys Chairman Narayana Murthy warned last week that revenue for the fiscal year ending March could grow at the lower end of the company’s 11.5 to 12 per cent projection. Infosys shares fell 2.35 per cent.
Investors also booked profits on recent outperformers. Oil and Natural Gas Corp closed 3.43 per cent lower after surging 18 per cent since the end of January to Tuesday’s close.
Still, indexes received some support as investors continued to favour selective blue chips such as ITC and HDFC Bank.
ITC, which closed 1.07 per cent higher, has advanced 9.8 per cent this month, while HDFC Bank closed up 0.61 per cent, bringing its gain for this month to 10.3 per cent.
Investors also focused on beaten down sectors such as metals with Tata Steel gaining 4.67 per cent, although shares are still down 16.4 per cent this year.
Hindalco Industries closed 4.53 per cent higher and Jindal Steel and Power ended up 1.46 per cent.
Shares of Polaris Financial Technology surged 20 per cent, their highest since July 2011. That added to the 11.6 per cent gain on Tuesday, after the software services firm said its board had approved a split of the company into two businesses.