Key Indian equity indices closed on a flat-to-positive note as investors booked profits ahead of the release of important macro-economic data later on Friday.
Market observers opined that the caution ahead of the RBI's monetary policy review and a long weekend also forced investors to vacate some of their positions.
The wider 51-scrip Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) closed at 9,788.60 points -- up 19.65 points or 0.20 per cent.
The 30-scrip Sensitive Index of the BSE, which opened at 31,367.25 points, closed at 31,283.72 points -- up a mere 1.24 points, from its previous close at 31,282.48 points.
The Sensex touched a high of 31,523.87 points and a low of 31,243.71 points during intra-day trade.
"The pullback rally continued today with the markets ending with modest gains on Friday (Nifty closed up 0.2 per cent). A sell off in the afternoon session curbed the gains ahead of the long weekend," Deepak Jasani, Head - Retail Research, HDFC Securities, told IANS.
"Firm global cues and positive sentiments after the government stuck to its budgeted market borrowing for the second half of fiscal 2018, thereby easing concerns that it would widen its fiscal deficit target, helped to lift the indices."
Anand James, Chief Market Strategist, Geojit Financial Services, said: "With a long weekend ahead, followed by RBI rate decision and a series of macro data, traders opted to limit aggressive bets, confining indices to a flat close."
According to Dhruv Desai, Director and Chief Operating Officer of Tradebulls, the benchmark indices pared gains to end on a flat note on the back of foreign fund outflows.
In terms of investments, provisional data with the exchanges showed that foreign institutional investors (FIIs) sold scrips worth Rs 1,546.86 crore while domestic institutional investors (DIIs) purchased stocks worth Rs 2,064.63 crore.
On the currency front, the rupee strengthened by 22 paise to close at 65.29 against the US dollar from its previous close at 65.51.
Major Sensex gainers on Friday were: Bajaj Auto, up 2.44 per cent at Rs 3,108.15; Bharti Airtel, up 1.63 per cent at Rs 388.65; Mahindra and Mahindra, up 1.55 per cent at Rs 1,253.75; Coal India, up 1.35 per cent at Rs 270.60; and Adani Ports, up 1.25 per cent at Rs 376.20.
Major Sensex losers were: Hindustan Unilever, down 2.37 per cent at Rs 1,175.15; Wipro, down 1.71 per cent at Rs 280.95; Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), down 1.67 per cent at Rs 2,437; Dr Reddy's Lab, down 1.62 per cent at Rs 2,329.40; and ITC, down 1.11 per cent at Rs 258.25.
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