MUMBAI: Equity benchmarks Sensex and Nifty ended modestly higher on Wednesday after a volatile session as investors looked ahead to the Union Budget for further cues.
Extending its gains for the third session, the 30-share BSE Sensex settled 22.77 points, or 0.06 per cent, higher at 39,839.25. Similarly, the broader NSE Nifty edged up 6.45 points, or 0.05 per cent, to 11,916.75.
Investors are keeping their powder dry ahead of Budget 2019-20, to be presented Friday, and are expecting measures to spur growth and revive demand, traders said.
Risk sentiment was also affected after data showed that the country's services sector activity in June contracted for the first time since May 2018.
Top gainers in the Sensex pack included IndusInd Bank, ITC, L&T, M&M, PowerGrid, Asian Paints and SBI, ending up to 3.79 per cent higher.
On the other hand, Tech Mahindra, Vedanta, Infosys, Yes Bank, Tata Motors, TCS, HCL Tech and Maruti were the top losers, shedding up to 1.44 per cent.
Global equities turned jittery after optimism surrounding the US-China trade truce was offset by the Trump administration proposing to slap tariffs on certain EU imports.
"Market will be volatile ahead the big event and profit booking is natural at this high level. However, underlying trend of the markets seems positive in expectation of revival in growth led by actions to boost infrastructure, investments, housing and bring a relief to rural distress.
"A spur in safe haven asset indicates investors' fear in the global market and FIIs are on risk off mode," said Vinod Nair, Head of Research, Geojit Financial Services.
Sectorally, the BSE realty, capital goods, power, FMCG, industrials, energy and finance indices ended up to 0.76 per cent higher.
IT, teck, consumer durables, healthcare, auto and utilities slipped up to 0.86 per cent.
Broader midcap and smallcap indices rose up to 0.26 per cent.
Bourses in Shanghai, Hong Kong, Tokyo and Seoul ended on a negative note, while equity markets in Europe were trading in the green in early session.
Meanwhile, Brent crude futures, the global oil benchmark, rose 0.82 per cent to USD 62.91 per barrel after the Opec bloc Tuesday signed a pact to extend production cuts for nine months.
On the currency front, the Indian rupee was trading flat at 68.93 against the US dollar intra-day.