Indian shares end flat after hitting record highs
* BSE index gains 0.01 pct; NSE index up 0.02 pct
* Defensive stocks such as tech, healthcare gain
* Recent outperformers like ONGC, BHEL end lower
By Indulal PM
MUMBAI, June 10 (Reuters) - Indian shares ended flat on Tuesday after hitting record highs for the third consecutive session as gains in defensive stocks such as healthcare and technology were offset by profit-taking in the broader market.
Investors took profits in recent outperformers such as Oil and Natural Gas Corp., while recent underperformers such a Infosys Ltd saw some buying interest.
However, the sentiment remained upbeat as investors are optimistic ahead of the newly formed Modi government's first Union budget, expecting promises on the revival of the domestic economy.
Overseas investors, who have been supporting the rally in the Indian market, bought shares worth $90.83 million on Monday, in a sixth straight session of buys. FIIs have bought Indian shares worth $9.4 billion so far this year.
"The outlook is positive and there is nothing that warrants a sell-off. However, we advise our clients to be stock specific. We do expect some more upside from the current levels," said Daljeet S Kohli, head of research at brokerage IndiaNivesh.
"Investors will be waiting for the Union budget, which would be the next big trigger and the first documentation of what the new government will be doing," he added.
The benchmark BSE index ended 0.01 percent higher at 25,583.69, while the broader NSE index closed up 0.02 percent at 7,656.40.
Earlier in the session, the BSE index rose as much as 0.51 percent to hit a record high of 25,711.11, surpassing the highest level of 25,644.77 hit on Monday.
The NSE index rose 0.37 percent to hit a fresh all-time high of 7,683.20, crossing the level of 7,673.70 touched on Monday.
ONGC fell 2.78 percent, adding to its 2.7 percent fall on Monday after it rose 12.1 percent to an all-time high on Friday.
Larsen and Toubro ended 0.75 percent lower after gaining 3.6 percent on Monday on profit-taking. The stock is still up 62.5 percent so far this year.
Among other blue-chips, shares in Reliance Industries Ltd fell 0.4 percent, while Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd closed down 2.72 percent.
Real estate companies fell sharply with the realty index of the BSE falling 2.96 percent on profit-taking. Shares in DLF Ltd ended 3.4 percent lower, while Unitech Ltd closed down 3.2 percent. Both the stocks are still up 11 percent and 31.9 percent respectively so far this month.
However, stocks in defensive sectors such as technology and healthcare saw some buying interest as investors look to reduce risk and volatility in their portfolios as local indexes edge lower on profit-taking.
Among technology stocks, Infosys Ltd gained 2.97 percent, Tech Mahindra Ltd gained 2.5 percent and Wipro Ltd ended 2.6 percent higher.
Cipla Ltd closed 2.8 percent higher while Dr Reddy's Laboratories Ltd ended 1.8 percent higher.
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