Equity benchmark indices erased early gains and closed nearly 1 per cent lower on March 12 amid profit booking by traders in auto, banking and pharma stocks. The BSE SandP Sensex witnessed a high of 51,822 and a low of 50,538 but closed 487 points or 0.95 per cent lower from previous close at 50,792. The Nifty 50 also edged lower by 144 points or 0.95 per cent at 15,031. Investors refrained from building new buying positions as bond yields rose in global markets and Covid cases shot up domestically in certain states. All sectoral indices at the National Stock Exchange were in the red with Nifty auto down by 1.6 per cent, PSU bank by 1.7 per cent, private bank by 1.1 per cent and pharma by 1 per cent. Among stocks, Bajaj Auto fell by 3 per cent to close at Rs 3,751 per share. Maruti Suzuki skidded by 2.3 per cent and Hero MotoCorp lost by 2 per cent.