Indian shares trimmed early losses to end flat on Wednesday as metal stocks surged, while small-and-mid cap firms came off session lows after a bourse said a new set of price limits to curb volatility would only impact a few companies for now.
The blue-chip NSE Nifty 50 index rose 0.01% to 16,282.25 and the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex was down 0.05% at 54,525.93, after hitting record highs on Tuesday.
The S&P BSE Smallcap index closed 0.83% lower and the BSE Midcap index fell 0.22%. The indexes had earlier fallen as much as 2.2% and 3.3%, respectively, after a circular on Monday from BSE Ltd placing additional price limits on securities to curb excessive price movement.
The stock exchange clarified on Wednesday that the new price circuit rules would be applicable on stocks that are priced above 10 rupees and have a market capitalization of less than 10 billion rupees ($134.37 million). It issued a list of 31 stocks on which the rules would be applicable for now.
Investor sentiment was also dampened by weakness in Asian shares on worries about the economic impact of the rapidly spreading Delta variant. India's tally of COVID-19 cases has crossed 32 million.
In Mumbai trading, the Nifty Metal index rose 3.14% and was the best performing sub-index.
Zomato Ltd closed 8.4% higher as investors looked past a quarterly loss and focused on strong revenue growth in the food delivery firm's first earnings as a publicly listed company.
Hinduja Global Solutions climbed 5% as it sold its healthcare services arm for $1.2 billion to funds associated with Baring Private Equity Asia, while Carlyle-backed animal healthcare firm SeQuent Scientific slid 14.6% after reporting a drop fall in June-quarter profit.