Indian shares ended on a flat note after a volatile trading session on Thursday as investors turned cautious ahead of the Infosys' third quarter performance which is likely to set the tone of earnings season for the Oct-Dec quarter.
Infosys, the bellwether stock of Information Technology index, will unveil its third quarter performance on Friday amid fear software maker may cut its revenue guidance for the fiscal year.
The 30-share Sensex of the Bombay Stock Exchange dropped 3.04 points and ended at 19,663.55 and the 50-share Nifty shed 2.85 points to close at 5,968.65.
Asian markets, however, ended on a positive note after Chinese trade data.
In China, exports rose 14% in December from a year earlier compared to analysts forecast figure of 4% while imports gained 6% indicating stronger domestic demand.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng gained 0.6% to 23,354, Taiwan's Weighted index rose 1% to 7,815, Singapore's Straits Times was down 0.01% to 3,220.
Also China's Shanghai Composite gained 0.4% to 2,284 while Japan's Nikkei rose 0.7% to 10,652.
European markets traded mixed ahead of the European Central Bank meeting later in the day where the central bank is expected to keep interest rates steady.
France's CAC down 0.32% to 3,706, Germany's DAX rose 0.1% to 7,725 while UK's FTSE was up 0.11% to 6,105.
Back home, barring banks, oil & gas, PSU, auto index, all sectoral indices dropped with real-estate, power, metals, capital goods, IT sectors leading declines on BSE.
Among key Sensex stocks, Bharti Airtel declined 1.2% , Hindalco and Sterlite dropped over 1.5% , BHEL declined 2%, TCS, Wipro and Infosys were down 1% while Reliance Industries fell 0.4% on BSE.
Among gainers, Tata Motors gained 2%, ONGC rose 3.4%, SBI & HDFC Bank ended up 1%, ITC gained 0.5% while Coal India rose 0.3% on BSE.
Shares in Indiabulls Power Ltd and Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd dropped after Barclays Capital and Citigroup warned two thermal power projects that the companies were involved with could have been held up, reports showed.
BSE-Bankex led gains among sectoral indices after the government today approved a proposal to inject Rs 12,517 crore in public sector banks to help them enhance the lending activity and meet the capital adequacy norms.
Oil companies like HPCL , BPCL gave up intra-day gains on profit-booking after the recent rally on fuel price hike optimism. HPCL falls 2.11% after gaining 2.8% earlier in session, while Bharat Petroleum Corp was down 0.12% after gaining 2.63% earlier.
Cement maker such as ACC, Ambuja, UltraTech fell 1-3% on near-term outlook concerns raised by global research firm JP Morgan.
The other key notable movers, Arshiya International tanked almost 20% second day in a row and locked in lower circuit of Rs 77.95 on BSE with no buyers on the counter after the company said that it has removed non-performing employees.
Bajaj Finance rose 2% at Rs 1,399.95 after the company announced rights issue plan.
Tata Motors gained 2% at Rs 332.80, extending its previous day's 4% rally, after the company's ADR (American Depository Receipts) surged over 6%, ahead of its Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) unit's wholesale volume numbers, which are scheduled to be released early next week.
Engineers India Limited (EIL) dipped almost 6% to Rs 225 after the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) approved the sale of 10% stake in the state-owned company.
The broader markets declined with mid-caps and small-caps falling 0.6% on BSE.
The market breadth was negative. Out of 3,099 stocks traded, 1,807 stocks declined compared to 1,164 advances on BSE.