Mumbai: Breaking a string of losses of the past seven days, the Sensex ended above the 26,000 level by racking up modest gains Friday, aided by pharma, auto and capital goods, but registered a weekly drop.
For the week, the Sensex lost 448.86 points, or 1.69 percent, while the broader NSE Nifty dropped 153.70 points, or 1.88 percent. This is their biggest weekly drop in five, which is since the week ended November 18.
Domestic investors backed up and covering-up of short positions gave equities a push too. But a weak trend in Asia and a mixed opening in Europe cast their shadow.
The rupee appreciated 17 paise against the dollar at 67.82, which had a positive influence, brokers said.
After a subdued start, the Sensex dropped as foreign funds liquidated bets ahead of the Christmas weekend. But emergence of value-buying later meant it wiped off early losses before settling higher by 61.10 points, or 0.24 percent, at 26,040.70.
The 50-share NSE Nifty ended up 6.65 points, or 0.08 percent, at 7,985.75 points. Intra-day, it shuttled between 7,942.05 and 8,022.60.
"The market was range bound with minor positive bias supported by GST and short-covering. Some progress was achieved in the GST Council meet, adding optimism about its implementation," said Vinod Nair, Head of Research, Geojit BNP Paribas Financial Services.
For much of the session, both the Sensex and the Nifty moved in a tight range in tandem with emerging markets, which saw sustained foreign funds outflows.
The 30-scrip gauge had lost 718.22 points in the previous seven sessions amid fears of a likely hit to corporate earnings due to the currency crunch and lack of any major trigger.
Cipla surged 4.03 percent, logging the best gains among 30 Sensex constituents, followed by Sun Pharma with a rise of 2.40 percent. Others which advanced include Maruti Suzuki, Bajaj Auto, GAIL, L&T, HDFC Bank and Hero MotoCorp.
Japanese financial markets were closed for a public holiday. Hong Kong's Hang Seng fell 0.28 percent and Shanghai Composite shed 0.94 percent.
Among European markets, Frankfurt was up 0.12 percent while Paris rose 0.02 percent in their morning trade, but London's FTSE shed 0.03 percent.
The BSE capital goods index gained the most by rising 0.87 percent, followed by consumer durables (up 0.78 percent), auto (0.28 percent) and oil and gas (up 0.26 percent). Realty, healthcare, FMCG and IT ended lower by up to 1.06 percent.
In contrast, the broader markets remained under pressure, with the mid-cap index falling by 0.40 percent and small-cap 0.04 percent.
Foreign portfolio investors sold shares worth a net Rs 614.40 crore yesterday, according to provision data.
"The market is expected to trade in a narrow range given lack of major triggers in the near future and holiday mood across the globe," said Nair.
Of the 30-share Sensex group, 16 ended higher while 14 closed lower.
The market breadth remained negative as 1,305 stocks ended lower, 1,257 advanced while 170 remained unchanged.
The total turnover on BSE amounted to Rs 2,402.87 crore, lower than Rs 3,006.74 crore in the previous trading session.