"We are in a consolidation mode, but today being the start of a new (derivatives) series I expect some positive bias," said Ambareesh Baliga, vice-president at Karvy Stock Broking.
Stock and index futures for March expired on Thursday and data showed 79.1 percent of these were rolled over to the next month.
"Some NAV (net asset value) propping is possible, but it won't help as stocks have fallen so much. But we could see good buying interest in mid-caps, which had cracked hell of a lot," he said. The fiscal year ends on Monday.
The benchmark 30-share BSE index ended down 0.44 percent at 16,015.56 on Thursday, and is down 21 percent in calendar 2008.
The BSE mid-cap index has fallen almost 36 percent in calendar 2008.
Foreign funds purchased $138 million of shares on Wednesday. They are still net sellers of $3.1 billion in 2008 after record buys of $17.4 billion last year.
Other equity markets in Asia such as Japan turned positive after early falls, but worries that the widening credit crisis would claim more victims on the Wall Street persisted.
Tokyo's Nikkei was up 1.3 percent by 0338 GMT, and MSCI's index of Asian stocks outside of Japan was up 0.5 percent.