The BSE Sensex broke a two-day climb and fell marginally to 0.2 percent on Thursday as investors squared their position on the last day of expiry.
The BSE auto index gained 1.3 percent as autos bucked the trend. The rise was led by buying in Maruti Suzuki, Mahindra & Mahindra and Bharat Forge as the government cut state-set fuel prices, a move that could help in slowing down inflation.
FIIs remained net buyers of $6.2 million in equity and $0.5 million in debt, as against net sellers of $59.4 million yesterday and $85.3 million on January 27.
Asian markets saw a rise as investors cheered the U.S. Congress’ headway on a $825 billion stimulus spending package and other efforts to address the financial meltdown.
Sensex heavyweight Reliance Industries closed down 0.4 percent at 1,268.05 rupees on some profit booking. The scrip had rallied 13.7 percent in the previous four sessions.
Maruti Suzuki rose 4.7 percent to 544.80 rupees despite posting a 54 percent drop in quarterly profits, as positive sentiments ruled the market and the fuel prices cut brought some cheer. The government cut fuel prices by up to 11 percent on Wednesday, its second reduction in nearly two months.