BSE Sensex was trading 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 Indian shares worth 28.1 billion Indian rupees ($441.55 million) on Wednesday, provisional exchange data showed.
Foreign institutional investors (FIIs)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 BSE index was down 0.03 percent, while the broader NSE index added 0.07 percent.
State-run banks were among the gainers. State Bank of India rose 0.8 percent, while Punjab National Bank was trading up 1.2 percent on reforms and stake sale hopes, traders said.
Reliance Capital gained 2.1 percent after Japan’s Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank agreed to acquire 2.77 pct stake in the company for $58.4 million.
Consumer goods makers were among the losers. Hindustan Unilever fell 0.9 percent and ITC Ltd dropped 0.8 percent.
Shares in Gujarat State Fertilizers and Chemicals fell 3.1 percent after the Reserve Bank of India restricted overseas investors from buying more shares in the company.