After a volatile session benchmarks ended with losses on Friday after three days of gains as the unabated rise in COVID-19 cases and localised lockdowns prompted investors to unwind bets in banking, finance and infra counters.

The S&P BSE Sensex ended 154.89 points or 0.31 per cent lower at 49,591.32, while the broader NSE Nifty slipped 38.95 points or 0.26 per cent to 14,834.85.

The gainers were led by Sun Pharma, HUL, Tech Mahindra, Dr Reddy’s and Titan were among the gainers, climbing up to 3.69 per cent. Whereas, Bajaj Finance was the top laggard in the Sensex pack, tumbling 3.12 per cent, followed by UltraTech Cement, NTPC, Axis Bank, ICICI Bank, IndusInd Bank, Reliance Industries, L&T and HDFC Bank.

During the week, the Sensex declined 438.51 points or 0.87 per cent, while the Nifty shed 32.50 points or 0.21 per cent.

“Domestic markets traded in a mild negative territory following weak global cues and increasing COVID cases. Fall in the market was led by the private banks as concerns on the banks’ asset quality spiked with increasing restrictions across states.

“Buying interest was seen in PSU Banks in hopes of finalisation of potential privatisation candidates. On the sectoral front, pharma stocks were the top gainers while broader markets continued to perform well,” said Vinod Nair, Head of Research at Geojit Financial Services.

In the broader markets, the BSE midcap index dipped 0.08 per cent, while the smallcap gauge spurted 0.69 per cent.

In the global markets, Wall Street surged after Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell reiterated the central bank’s dovish stance.

Elsewhere in Asia, bourses in Shanghai, Hong Kong and Seoul ended in the red, while Tokyo finished with gains.

Top stock exchanges in Europe were largely trading on a negative note in mid-session deals.

Meanwhile, international oil benchmark Brent crude was trading 0.27 per cent lower at USD 63.03 per barrel.

The rupee fell for the fifth straight session and settled 15 paise down at 74.73 against the US dollar.