Stocks traded in a flat, narrow band on Friday, in line with their overseas peers, as traders and investors remained fence sitters on the last trading day of the week. Thick selling action, however, was concentrated on the software sector, which plunged to a 2-week low following a negative development in its main market, the United States.
The Nifty quoted 5 points lower at 8,268, unable as it was to hold on to morning gains as sustained selling in index heavyweight software stocks pushed markets lower. Media reports said two US Congressmen have moved a Bill that may make it difficult for software exporters to procure H1-B visas, necessary to send developers to the US, which consumes a majority of India's $150 billion in software exports.
Meanwhile, here are the most important events of the trading day:
* Yes Bank, ONGC, IndusInd Bank, Bharti Infratel and Bank of Baroda gain 1.5-2.8 per cent; and are among 32 shares advancing on the Nifty.
* HCL Technologies replaces Tech Mahindra as the top loser on the Nifty. Others to slip were TCS, Infosys and Wipro. These five stocks lost between 1.8-3.6 per cent and were among 18 shares trading lower on the Nifty .
* Infosys, India's second largest software exporter, was the top traded stock by value, down 2.3 per cent to its lowest level since December 8th, a 1-month low. Wockhardt Pharma, Yes Bank, TCS and HDFC were the other counters were substantial trading was witnessed.
* JSW Energy was the top gainer in the list of most active shares by volumes.
* Broader market indices traded flat, with low volumes.
* Sectoral indices showed a mixed trend with a stroke of red on FMCG, Media and Realty benchmarks while the four bank indices, auto, metals and pharma benchmarks were painted with a shade of green.
* Overall, 868 stocks fell versus 708 that rose in the wider market, signalling that bears had an upper hand on the last trading day of the week.