Mumbai– The key Indian equity indices closed on a flat-to-positive note after trading in a narrow range on Friday, tracking weakness in Asian and European markets over concerns of a slowdown in global growth.

While major Asian markets closed on a negative note, European indices like FTSE 100, DAX and CAC 40 traded in the red.

In addition, caution in the domestic markets also prevailed as the outcome of Reserve Bank of India (RBI) board meeting was awaited till the closing bell.

However meagre, the domestic indices logged their fourth session of advances led by telecom, oil and gas and power stocks, but the finance counters remained subdued.

Besides, lower food and fuel prices easing India’s annual rate of inflation based on wholesale prices to 4.64 per cent in November from 5.28 per cent in October also had a positive impact on the investor sentiment.

“These positive numbers gave a further fillip to positive investor sentiment. Easing inflation has renewed calls for a rate cut by the Reserve Bank of India as many investors are of the opinion that lower rates will help spur economic growth in the country,” said Abhijeet Dey, Senior Fund Manager-Equities, BNP Paribas Mutual Fund.

According to Geojit Financial Services’ Head of Research Vinod Nair: “Market was range bound and settled on a marginal gain ahead of RBI board meet. While weakening rupee and decline in yield influenced investors to stay sideline.”

“Inflation remains on a softening path while industrial activity is picking up which will provide support to the market. Growth concerns in Chinese economy dragged Asian and European markets to a negative terrain.”

Consequently, the S&P BSE Sensex settled 33.29 points higher at 35,962.93 points, touching an intra-day high of 36,019.02 and a low of 35,813.85.

The Nifty50 gained 11.85 points or 0.11 per cent to close at 10,803.40.

“Technically, while the Nifty has rallied higher for the fourth consecutive session, the gains are now small, warning of a short term reversal in sentiments. Further upsides are likely once the immediate resistances of 10,839 are taken out,” said HDFC Securities’ Retail Research Head Deepak Jasani.

“Crucial supports to watch for any weakness are at 10,749.”

Investment wise, Foreign Institutional Investors (FII) bought shares worth Rs 861.94 crore on Friday while Domestic Institutional Investors (DII) sold stocks worth Rs 302.52 crore, provisional data from the BSE showed.

In terms of company-specific shares, Bharti Airtel gained the most among the 30-stock Sensex. The shares of telecom major gained over 5 per cent a day on the back of Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) scrapping TRAI order on predatory pricing.

Bharti Airtel, along with some other telecom players, had challenged the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) order dated February 16, 2018 in March.

The telecom major was followed by Yes Bank which advanced by 3.23 per cent. Oil and energy stocks like ONGC, NTPC and Power Grid gained in the range of 1 to 2.5 per cent.

In contrast, HDFC and Wipro were the major losers followed by L&T, Sun Pharma and Adani Ports.

The rupee saw a depreciation as it settled at 71.90 per US dollar from its previous close of 70.68-69. (IANS)

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