From overseas markets, besides China, which ended in the red, most other Asian stocks ended in the green. Key indicesfrom Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwanclosed up between 0.06 per cent and 1.84 per cent.
However, European markets were trading slightly lower intheir afternoon deals. The CAC was down by 0.23 per cent, theDAX by 0.04 per cent and the FTSE by 0.29 per cent.
Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs) continued theirbuying spree but at a slower pace. They picked up shares worthRs 37.99 crore on February 17 as per provisional data.
In all, 25 out of 30 Sensex-based scrips closed withlosses. Reliance Com was the top loser with a fall of 6.80 percent followed by REL Infra (5.60 pc), Jaipra Asso (5.54 pc),Tata Motor (3.91 pc), ONGC (3.40 pc), L&T (3.19 pc), ICICIBank (3.05 pc), M&M (2.69 pc), Tata Steel (2.59 pc), HeroHonda (2.32 pc), Sterlite Ind (2.14 pc), DLF (2.04 pc), BhartiAirtel (1.86 pc), ITC (1.77 pc) and RIL (1.69 pc).
Amongst sectoral indices, BSE-Realty dropped by 4.04 percent, BSE-Auto by 2.39 pc, BSE-Oil&Gas by 2.09 pc, BSE-CG by1.97 pc, BSE-CD by 1.84 pc and Bankex by 1.73 pc.
Reflecting selling in second-line stocks, the totalmarket breadth turned negative with 2,085 stocks ending inlosses, against 773 that finishing with gains on the BSE. Thetotal turnover improved further to Rs 3,723.62 crore from Rs3,314.22 crore yesterday.
Meanwhile, the government today launched a new seriesof the Consumer Price Index, which pegged inflation at 6 percent for January this year.