Despite opening on a prosperous note and moving higher in the early part of the trading session, the Indian benchmark indices ended almost flat on Wednesday, drifting lower and even seeing a brief spell in the negative territory during the afternoon trade as several counters witnessed profit taking. The NSE’s 50-share broadly followed index, Nifty, gained around twenty points to end above the psychological 8,400 support level; while Bombay Stock Exchange’s Sensitive index,  Sensex too surged by around twenty points to finish above its psychological 27,250 mark.European markets on Wednesday ended the session on a mixed note.  The DAX of Germany climbed 0.51 per cent, while FTSE 100 of the U.K. finished 0.38 per cent higher. On the flip side, the CAC 40 of France corrected 0.13 per cent.  The U.S. stocks rose moderately on Wednesday as gains in financials offset weakness in telecommunications shares; but the Dow Jones Industrial Average opposed the trend, closing at its lowest of 2017. The S&P500 gained 0.20 per cent to close at 2,271. The Nasdaq Composite index gained 0.30 per cent to close at 5,555.Asian stocks are trading in the mix on Thursday, as Japan’s Nikkei 225 scaled above 19,000 levels with gains of almost 1 per cent. The Hang Seng and Shanghai Composite index are trading in the negative zone with losses of 0.29 per cent and 0.15 per cent, respectively.At 7:54 am, the SGX Nifty index shed 2 points to 8,433, indicating a flat to negative start for Indian equities. Market participants will keep a close eye on earnings of  private sector banking firms, Axis Bank and Yes Bank.