Indian shares end volatile day muted; Hero offsets losses

A man walks past the new logo of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) building in Mumbai

By Hritam Mukherjee and Bharath Rajeswaran

BENGALURU (Reuters) -Indian shares ended flat on Wednesday as gains in oil stocks and a jump in two-wheeler maker Hero MotoCorp on strong result offset pressure from investors booking profits.

The blue-chip NSE Nifty 50 closed flat at 22,302.50 points, while the S&P BSE Sensex shed 0.06% to 73,466.39.

High weightage financials lost 0.53%, extending losses for a fourth session, while IT shares snapped a two-session winning streak to close 0.41% lower.

The benchmark Nifty 50 is down 2.16% from record high levels, hit in intraday trade on Friday. Selling pressure by foreign investors hurts financial and IT stocks as their exposure in these sectors is comparatively higher than others.

"The relentless foreign selling could persist further, keeping the pressure on markets, while domestic investors could choose to ride out the volatility," said Sanjeev Hota, vice president and head of research at Sharekhan.

India's volatility index closed at 17.08, firming to a 15-month high for the third straight session as uncertainty around the national elections, foreign selling, and analysts' reactions to corporate results kept investors wary. The index had briefly eased during the session.

Votes for India's seven-phase elections, in which Prime Minister Narendra Modi is seeking a rare third straight term, are set to be counted on June 4. Voter turnout has so far been comparatively low compared to previous years.

Hero MotoCorp gained 3.06% after beating quarterly profit estimates and was the top Nifty 50 percentage gainer.

Refiners BPCL, HPCL and Indian Oil gained between 1.75% and 3%, helped by a drop in crude oil prices on demand concerns. Fall in oil prices is positive for importers of the commodity like India.

Drugmaker Dr Reddy's was the top percentage loser on the Nifty 50, shedding 3.22% despite beating quarterly profit estimates as analysts flagged a subdued-mid term outlook.

Home appliances-maker Voltas slipped 5.07% after it missed quarterly profit estimates.

(Reporting by Hritam Mukherjee and Bharath Rajeswaran in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D'Souza, Varun H K, Sonia Cheema and Janane Venkatraman)