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Indian shares end flat; Reliance gains, financials weigh

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·2-min read
A bird flies past the Bombay Stock Exchange building in Mumbai
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BENGALURU (Reuters) - Indian shares ended nearly flat on Tuesday as gains in Reliance and commodity firms were offset by a selloff in financial stocks.

The NSE Nifty 50 index ended 0.22% higher at 14,707.70 and the S&P BSE Sensex closed 0.01% higher at 49,751.41.

Both the indexes snapped five sessions of losses to advance 1.2% during the session, before paring gains as investors sold private sector bank stocks.

"There is no positive news in the near term to propel markets higher and we may continue to see such sedate moves until there are fresh triggers that will decide which way market will move going-ahead," said Deepak Jasani, head of retail research at HDFC Securities.

Indian equities rose sharply in the first two weeks of February, on solid corporate earnings and a well-received federal budget, before trimming some of the gains due to profit-taking.

Analysts have warned that despite the selloff in the last five sessions, valuations remain high and a correction is over-due.

Reliance Industries was the top boost to the Nifty 50, closing up 0.8% after the conglomerate said it expected to hive off its oil-to-chemicals (O2C) business in the September quarter.

Among major sectoral indexes, the Nifty metal index advanced the most, closing up nearly 4% amid a rally in copper prices fuelled by hopes of a recovery in demand.

The Nifty energy index closed 2.1% higher, with shares of Oil and Natural Gas Corp rising 5.5%.

Lenders Kotak Mahindra Bank and HDFC Bank were the biggest drags on the Nifty 50, falling 3.9% and 1.2%, respectively.

Nifty's PSU bank index finished the session 0.14% lower.

(Reporting by Chandini Monnappa in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli)