The Indian equity markets on Friday closed on a flat-to-positive note on the back of positive inflation macro-data points and value buying.
However, gains were capped due to long-liquidation which was triggered by caution over the ongoing quarterly earnings season and outflow of foreign funds.
The wider 51-scrip Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) inched up by 10.05 points or 0.12 per cent to 8,583.40 points.
The barometer 30-scrip sensitive index (Sensex) of the BSE, which opened at 27,712.22 points, closed at 27,673.60 points -- with a slight rise of 30.49 points or 0.11 per cent from the previous close at 27,643.11 points.
The Sensex touched a high of 27,763.54 points and a low of 27,548.18 points during the intra-day trade.
The BSE market breadth was tilted in favour of the bulls -- with 1,725 advances and 1,058 declines.
On Thursday, both the key Indian indices plunged due to global cues such as increased chances of a US rate hike, disappointing China trade data and renewed fears of an early exit of Britain from the European Union (Brexit).
The barometer index had receded by 439.23 points or 1.56 per cent to 27,643.11 points, while the NSE Nifty plunged by 135.45 points or 1.56 per cent to 8,573.35 points.
Initially on Friday, the benchmark indices opened on a positive note in sync with their Asian peers.
Investors' sentiments were buoyed at the prospects of another rate cut by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) after macro-data showed a decline in key inflation gauges.
The official data on the Wholesale Price Index (WPI) released on Friday afternoon showed that India's annual wholesale inflation eased to 3.57 per cent in September from a two-year high of 3.74 per cent in August.
The annual wholesale inflation during the corresponding period last year stood at (-)4.59 per cent.
The WPI figures came a day after data on India's annual retail inflation was released after the market hours on Thursday. It showed a decline of 4.31 per cent from 5.05 per cent in August and 4.41 per cent reported during the corresponding period of last year.
The September annual retail inflation came below the upper tolerance level of six per cent for the second straight month, even though it is still above the base rate of four per cent.
The government target is four per cent plus-or-minus two percentage points for the next five years.
However, gains were capped due to caution over the ongoing second quarter results and substantial outflow of foreign funds.
The second quarter results season started on October 7. On Friday Infosys came out with its quarterly results.
The global software major lowered its annual revenue guidance for the 2016-17 fiscal due to uncertain business outlook and currency volatility despite a robust growth in the second quarter (July-September).
Meanwhile, the Indian rupee strengthened by 23 paise to 66.70-71 against a US dollar from its previous close of 66.93-94 to a greenback.
"Value buying, broadly positive global markets and lower inflation data points supported the key indices' upward movement," Anand James, Chief Market Strategist, Geojit BNP Paribas Financial Services, told IANS.
"However, with Q2 season getting active, gains were limited, as yesterday's steep fall has prompted investors to take a cautionary bias."
According to Dhruv Desai, Director and Chief Operating Officer of Tradebulls,
CNX Nifty opened on a firm note as it tracked positive Asian markets.
"Bearish USD/INR futures prices and short covering at lower levels also supported the recovery in Nifty," Desai said.
"IT stocks traded with bearish sentiments on selling pressure. However, banking and pharma stocks witnessed healthy recovery from lower levels in the second half of the session."
In terms of investments, provisional data with exchanges showed that the foreign institutional investors (FIIs) sold stocks worth Rs 946.42 crore, whereas the DIIs bought scrip worth Rs 556.90 crore.
Sector-wise, S&P BSE oil and gas index augmented by 261.85 points, followed by the capital goods index, which rose by 229.01 points, and the bank index edged-up by 77.70 points.
On the other hand, S&P BSE metal index receded by 52.62 points, the IT index declined by 51.41 points and the technology, entertainment and media (Teck) index dropped by 41.04 points.
Major Sensex gainers during Friday's trade were: Gail, up 4.05 per cent at Rs 430.35; Larsen and Toubro (L&T), up 2.51 per cent at Rs 1,472.50; Tata Motors, up 2.05 per cent at Rs 555.45; Reliance Industries, up 1.94 per cent at Rs 1,078.20; and Powergrid, up 1.69 per cent at Rs 177.40.
Major Sensex losers were: Infosys, down 2.34 per cent at Rs 1,027.40; Hindustan Unilever, down 2.32 per cent at Rs 841.95; HDFC, down 1.44 per cent at Rs 1,319.20; Lupin, down 1.09 per cent at Rs 1,464.30; and Mahindra and Mahindra (M&M), down 0.88 per cent at Rs 1,357.05.