The Indian equity markets slipped lower on Friday to close on a flat note as investors' sentiments were subdued on continued outflow of funds and heavy selling pressure in healthcare and IT stocks.
According to market observers, a revival in banking, consumer durables and FMCG stocks and positive European markets kept the downside limited.
The wider Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) inched higher by 10 points or 0.10 per cent to close at 9,588.05 points.
In contrast, the 30-scrip Sensitive index (Sensex) of the BSE, which opened at 31,160.47 points, closed at 31,056.40 points -- down 19.33 points or 0.06 per cent from its previous close at 31,075.73 points.
The Sensex touched a high of 31,182.73 points and a low of 31,017.18 during intra-day trade.
The BSE market breadth was marginally bearish -- with 1,340 declines and 1,334 bulls.
In terms of the broader markets, the BSE mid-cap and small-cap indices outperformed the Sensex. The S&P BSE mid-cap index was up 0.17 per cent, and the small-cap index was up 0.14 per cent.
"Markets ended with marginal gains on Friday as they continued to trade in a narrow range after remaining in positive territory early in the day. Selling in select IT and pharma stocks was offset by gains in select FMCG and private bank stocks," Deepak Jasani, Head - Retail Research, HDFC Securities, told IANS.
"Major Asian markets ended on a mixed note. European indices like FTSE 100, CAC 40 and DAX traded higher."
On the currency front, the rupee strengthened by 10-11 paise to 64.43-44 to a US dollar from its previous close of 64.54.
In investments, provisional data with the exchanges showed that foreign institutional investors (FIIs) sold stocks worth Rs 764.48 crore, while domestic institutional investors (DIIs) bought scrips worth Rs 890.91 crore.
"In the afternoon session, markets erased the gains accumulated in the morning session. Market turnover was significantly lower after yesterday's (Thursday) weekly expiry," said Dhruv Desai, Director and Chief Operating Officer of Tradebulls.
"Top gainers in NSE were Tatamtrdvr, ACC, Kotak Bank and Ultratech, while Lupin, Sunpharma, Cipla and Wipro were top losers," he added.
Sector-wise, the S&P BSE healthcare index declined by 217.87 points, the IT index by 83 points and the Teck (technology, media and entertainment) index by 37.93 points.
On the other hand, the S&P BSE banking index rose by 126.82 points, the consumer durables index by 79.73 points, and the FMCG index by 58.89 points.
Major Sensex gainers on Friday were: Tata Motors, up 1.57 per cent at Rs 455.50; ITC, up 1.46 per cent at Rs 306.30; Adani Ports, up 0.67 per cent at Rs 362.65; State Bank of India, up 0.63 per cent at Rs 285.85; and NTPC, up 0.53 per cent at Rs 160.25.
Major Sensex losers were: Lupin, down 4.40 per cent at Rs 1,131; Sun Pharma, down 2.78 per cent at Rs 529.15; Wipro, down 2.24 per cent at Rs 254.95; Cipla, down 2.20 at Rs 537.05; and Infosys, down 1.24 per cent at Rs 940.50.