After opening on a firm note, stocks retreated and pared some gains on the Indian bourses where a short Muhurat Trading session was on this evening to usher in Samvat year 2070.
Investors were mostly seen indulging in stock specific activity, tracking quarterly results and recent economic data.
The BSE benchmark Sensex, which vaulted to a new lifetime high of 21,321.53, ended the sesson at 21,239.36, recording a gain of 42.55 points or 0.2%.
The Nifty index of the National Stock Exchange closed up 10.15 points or 0.16% at 6317.35, off the day's high of 6342.95.
Metal stocks surged higher on the back of encouraging report on Chinese manufacturing activity. Banking and automobile sectors saw some brisk buying during the session, although volume of business remained quite thin as institutional investors stayed away on the sidelines.
While automobile stocks managed to hold to most of their gains and metal stocks too stayed a bit steady, bank stocks came off their highs.
A few stocks from healthcare, FMCG, realty and power sectors too closed on a firm note. Information technology, oil, capital goods and consumer durables stocks were mostly subdued.
Metal stocks Jindal Steel & Power, Tata Steel and Hindalco, power stock Tata Power, PSU power equipment maker BHEL, pharma majors Sun Pharmaceutical Industries, Cipla and Dr Reddy's Laboratories, FMCG heavyweight ITC, IT stock Wipro and oil major ONGC closed on a firm note.
Neyveli Lignite Corporation, United Breweries, Hindustan Petroleum Corporation, Indian Oil Corporation, Cummins India, BPCL, Indian Oil Corporation, Gujarat State Petronet, Aurobindo Pharma and Cadila Healthcare ended higher by 2.5% - 4%.
Mahindra & Mahindra, Bharti Airtel, HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, Larsen & Toubro and Coal India ended weak.
The market breadth was strong. Out of 2125 stocks traded on BSE, 1550 stocks moved up. 477 stocks declined and 98 stocks ended flat.