Indian shares ended flat on Monday in volatile trading as losses in financial stocks were offset by gains in information technology and pharma, with investors moving money into so-called safe sectors due to fears of fresh curbs as coronavirus cases in the country rise again.
The blue-chip NSE Nifty 50 index ended flat at 14,736.40 and the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex slipped 0.2% to 49,771.29.
"Banking and financial sector is seeing a sell-off and that has been bothering the market ... We are seeing some flight to safety," said Neeraj Dhawan, director at Quantum Securities in New Delhi.
The surge in new coronavirus cases and related restrictions is contributing to the nervousness in the markets, he added.
Daily coronavirus cases in the country hit their highest since early November on Monday and some regions reimposed containment measures, including lockdowns and restaurant closures, and are considering further steps.
Barclays in a note, however, said the impact on India's growth is likely to be limited despite new restrictions coming up.
"Amid expanding eligibility for vaccinations, the disruption from rising infections might be limited, and risks to the growth outlook are balanced for now," Barclays said.
On Monday, the Nifty bank index fell 1.6% and the finance index dropped 1.2%. The Nifty bank index fell 3.8% last week.
On the bright side, the Nifty IT index surged 1.9% and the pharma index gained 1.6%.
Shares of Adani Green Energy rose 5% after the company said it had won an order to set up a 300 MW Wind Power project.
Tata Motors shares dropped 1.9% after the company said on Friday that Marc Llistosella Bischoff, who was supposed to join as chief executive officer and managing director, will not join the company.