Sensex and Nifty settled higher in a volatile trade today.New Delhi: Indian equity benchmarks closed in the green but off their early highs on Thursday. After starting the day on a strong note, the domestic indices gave up most of their gains during late deals, dragged by banking, consumer goods and pharma stocks.The 30-share BSE Sensex rose 33 points or 0.06 per cent to close at 55,702, while the broader NSE Nifty edged 5 points or 0.03 per cent higher to close at 16,683. Sensex swung in a band of 953 points before settling marginally higher. Both the indices, however, snapped their three-day losing run. Mid- and small-cap shares ended on a mixed note as Nifty Midcap 100 index inched 0.10 per cent higher and the small-cap shed 0.75 per cent.Five of the 15 sector gauges — compiled by the National Stock Exchange — closed in the green. Sub-indexes Nifty IT, Nifty Metal and Nifty Auto outperformed the index by falling as much as 2.07 per cent, 0.62 per cent and 0.42 per cent, respectively. Nifty PSU Bank, Nifty FMCG and Nifty Pharma underperformed the index.On the stock-specific front, Tech Mahindra was the top Nifty gainer as the stock surged 4.22 per cent to Rs 1,264. Hero MotoCorp, Infosys, HCL Tech and Tata Steel were also among the gainers.The overall market breadth stood weak as 1,522 shares advanced while 1,817 declined on BSE.On the 30-share BSE index, TechM, Infy, HCL Tech, Wipro, Tata Steel, Kotak Mahindra Bank, TCS and ITC were among the top gainers.In contrast, IndusInd Bank, Nestle India, UltraTech Cement, Sun Pharma, Reliance Industries, PowerGrid, Bajaj Finserv, Titan and Asian Paints settled in the red.Technical View: “Nifty short term sentiment remains negative. Resistance for Nifty50 is seen at 16,950, below which bias remains negative. Medium-term trend support for the index is seen at 15,500. Select energy stocks trade with positive bias while cement stocks expected to remain under pressure,” said Sahaj Agrawal, Head of Research – Derivatives at Kotak Securities.