Indian shares end flat after hitting record highs
* BSE and NSE indexes end 0.03 pct lower
* Investors take profits in recent outperformers
* Capital goods, oil and gas stocks surge
By Indulal PM
MUMBAI, April 22 (Reuters) - Indian shares ended flat on Tuesday after hitting record highs for a second consecutive session as momentum waned ahead of the expiry of monthly derivative contracts and on expectations that current levels sufficiently price in fundamentals.
Investors booked profits in recent outperformers such as State Bank of India and Tata Motors, although gains in other sectors such as capital goods helped offset those losses.
Although overseas investors have underpinned sentiment, the pace of buying has slowed. Foreign institutional investors bought shares worth 2.13 billion rupees ($35.22 million) on Monday, having bought $67.58 million worth on Thursday.
Analysts warn markets could be headed for a period of range-bound trading. Derivative contracts will expire on Wednesday while markets will remain closed on Thursday as Mumbai heads to the polls in the on-going general elections.
"There will be muted upside for the time being," said Deven Choksey, managing director, KR Choksey Securities.
"You may see action in individual stocks, which will find intermediate upmoves on rotation," he added.
The benchmark BSE index closed 0.03 percent lower at 22,758.37, after gaining as much as 0.39 percent to hit an all-time high of 22,853.03 earlier in the day.
The broader NSE index ended 0.03 percent down at 6,815.35, having earlier advanced as much as 0.3 percent to hit a record high of 6,838.
Recent outperformers were hit by profit-taking. State Bank of India fell 1.14 percent after having gained 36 percent since the end of January to Monday's close on expectations the central bank would keep interest rates on hold.
Interest-rate sensitive auto makers also fell. Maruti Suzuki fell 0.64 percent after gaining 25 percent since the end of February until Monday's close.
However, capital goods stocks extended recent gains as dealers cited good buying by foreign investors.
Larsen and Toubro Ltd ended 1.8 percent higher, adding to its 4.2 percent gain on Monday, while Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd rose 0.24 percent.
Oil and gas stocks were among other gainers on the back of value buying, with heavyweights such as Reliance Industries closing up 0.85 percent and Oil and Natural Gas Corp. ending 1.01 percent higher.
Among the laggards, Wipro Ltd lost 2.87 percent, adding to its 6.8 percent fall of Monday as the stock continued to remain under pressure after a weak IT services outlook.
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FACTORS TO WATCH * Euro subdued near two-week lows, wary of ECB * Brent dips below $110 but Ukraine tensions give support * M&A talk lifts European shares, euro dips to two-week low * Foreign institutional investor flows * For closing rates of Indian ADRs
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(Reporting by Indulal PM; Editing by Anupama Dwivedi)
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