The BSE Sensex was trading 0.12 per cent lower and the Nifty flat on Friday, giving up gains earlier in the session as investors refused to take big risks ahead of the year-end holidays, while muted sentiment across the region also weighed.
Trading volumes remained low as investor interest was subdued despite Friday being the first trading day for the new monthly derivatives contract, traders said.
Overseas investors sold shares worth Rs 2,810 crore on Wednesday, provisional exchange data showed. Foreign institutional investors have been selling shares for the 11th straight session, totalling about $1.5 billion, exchange and regulatory data showed.
“Markets are likely to trade rangebound for the time being. People are waiting for the budget, which would be the next big trigger,” said Suresh Parmar, head, institutional equities at KJMC Capital Markets.
The benchmark Sensex was down 0.1 per cent, while the broader Nifty added 0.07 per cent.
State-run banks were among the gainers. State Bank of India rose 0.8 per cent, while Punjab National Bank was trading up 1.8 per cent on reforms and stake sale hopes, traders said.
Reliance Capital gained 2.1 per cent after Japan’s Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank agreed to acquire 2.77 per cent stake in the company for $58.4 million.
Consumer goods makers were among the losers. Hindustan Unilever fell 1.1 per cent and ITC dropped 0.8 per cent.
Shares in Gujarat State Fertilizers and Chemicals fell 3.8 per cent after the Reserve Bank of India restricted overseas investors from buying more shares in the company.