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Closing Bell: Sensex ends flat, Nifty holds 12,250 as banks gain, auto stocks decline

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Indian shares pared morning gains to end flat on Friday after hitting record highs for the fourth straight session in intra-day deals. The BSE Sensex ended 8 points higher at 41,681, while Nifty settled 12 points higher at 12,272.

Closing Bell: Sensex ends flat, Nifty holds 12,250 as banks gain, auto stocks decline
Indian shares pared morning gains to end flat on Friday after hitting record highs for the fourth straight session in intra-day deals. While buying was seen in banking stocks, autos witnessed selling during the day. Gains in heavyweights like HDFC Bank, SBI, and ICICI Bank were capped by losses in Kotak Bank, Reliance Industries, ITC, and HDFC.
The BSE Sensex ended 8 points higher at 41,681, while Nifty settled 12 points higher at 12,272. During the week, the indices hit a record high for 4 out of 5 sessions. Both benchmark indices Sensex and Nifty gained over 1.5 percent each for the week.
In intra-day deals, the Sensex rose as much as 136 points to hit a new high of 41,809.96, while the Nifty50 index gained 34 points to hit a fresh high of 12,293.90.
The rally was driven by gains in state-run banks as investors cheered a central bank decision to conduct a special open market operation to bring down long-term yields.
The Reserve Bank of India on Thursday said it would buy Rs 10,000 crore ($1.4 billion) worth of the current benchmark 10-year bond while selling four bonds maturing in 2020 for an equivalent amount.
Titan, Tata Steel, UPL, SBI, and Nestle India were the top gainers on the Nifty50 index, up between 2-3.5 percent, while Vedanta, Kotak Bank, Tata Motors, ITC, and Eicher Motors led the losses.
Broader markets were also flat for the day with Nifty Midcap up 0.01 percent, and Nifty Smallcap up 0.04 percent.
Most sectors gave positive returns for the day. Nifty PSU Bank rose the most, up 2.3 percent, followed by Nifty Media, which rose 1.2 percent. Nifty Bank and Nifty Realty also added 0.5 percent for the day, while Nifty Metal rose 0.6 percent.
Meanwhile, Nifty Auto declined 0.4 percent, Nifty Pharma fell 0.3 percent, and Nifty Realty slipped 0.1 percent for the day.
PSU Bank stocks advanced after announced for simultaneous sale and purchase of government securities worth Rs 10,000 each via open market operations. Union Bank of India, Canara Bank, SBI, Oriental Bank of Commerce, Indian Bank, and Bank of Baroda rose between 2.5-4.2 percent.
Meanwhile, shares in broader Asia hovered near 18-month highs as trade thinned in the run-up to Christmas. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan were steady after rising 1.2 percent so far this week and almost 5 percent this month. Japan's Nikkei reversed early gains after reaching a 14-month high earlier in the week. It was ahead by 2.5 percent for the month so far. Chinese shares were slightly stronger with the blue-chip CSI300 up 0.2 percent.
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