After opening on a positive note, the bellwether index of the Bombay Stock Exchange, the 30-scrip Sensex, remained in the negative territory for a large part of the day. The index closed at 17,557.74, down 3.13 points, or 0.02 per cent.
The broader NSE Nifty closed at 5,320.40, down 2.55 points, or 0.05 per cent.
With mixed cues from the US markets, which ended Thursday on a tepid note, investors were frantically looking for domestic cues, especially the results of the country's largest lender, State Bank of India.
It was immediately after SBI announced its June quarter results that the index saw a sudden surge in activity, though on the negative side. It fell to its lowest level of the day, dropping about 70 points, only to recuperate in just a while.
Though SBI announced a 137 per cent jump in net profit at Rs 3,752 crore for the June quarter, highest in the bank's history, concerns over rising non-performing loans took a toll at the counter. Also, Swiss global financial services company UBS on Friday downgraded SBI to sell from buy. The company saw its share tumble 4.26 per cent at close on the BSE to Rs 1,887.95.
Tata Motors was another counter that saw hectic selling a day after it announced its quarterly results and forecast lower sales for its key Jaguar Land Rover subsidiary. Hitting the sentiment further was Credit Suisse downgrading Tata Motors to underperform from neutral. The stock shed 3.07 per cent to close at Rs 232.
Strides Arcolab hit a new high on the BSE after media reports said the firm is considering selling its injectable medicines unit. The unit, called Agila Specialties, is expected to be valued at more than Bangalore-based Strides’ current market value of about $800 million. The stock closed up 1.56 per cent at Rs 786.95.
Another counter that saw hectic activity was of Indraprastha Gas (IGL). The stock gained after the Supreme Court refused to stay Delhi High Court's order, which said that the Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB) has no power to fix or regulate gas price sold by IGL. The stock gained 4.85 per cent to close at Rs 251.85.
Top five gainers among Sensex companies were HUL, up 2.13 per cent at Rs 497.70; Sterlite Industries, up 1.65 per cent ar Rs 111.00; Maruti Suzuki, up 1.61 per cent at Rs 1,163.50; TCS, up 1.53 per cent at Rs 1,277.80; Infosys, up 1.50 per cent at Rs 2,313.15.
Top five losers among Sensex firms were SBI, down 4.26 per cent at Rs 1,887.95; Tata Motors, down 3.07 per cent at Rs 232.00; Hero Motocorp, down 2.27 per cent at Rs 1,914.20; Tata Steel, down 1.45 per cent at Rs 400.40; Coal India, down 1.09 per cent at 348.60.