MUMBAI : Negative global cues and selling pressure in banking, IT and finance stocks pulled the Indian equity markets lower during the mid-afternoon trade session on Friday. Around 12.55 p.m., the wider Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) was trading at 9,656.50 points -- lower by 18.05 points, or 0.19 per cent.
The 30-scrip Sensitive Index (Sensex) of the BSE, which opened at 31,373.52 points, was trading at 31,327.56 points -- down 41.78 points, or 0.13 per cent, from its previous close at 31,369.34 points.
The Sensex had so far touched a high of 31,394.16 points and a low of 31,286.62 points during the intra-day trade.
However, the BSE market breadth was bullish -- with 1,340 advances and 1,147 declines.
"Equity benchmarks opened slightly negative in red, following global cues. Index heavyweights such as HDFC and ITC were dragging the major market indices lower during morning hours," said Dhruv Desai, Director and Chief Operating Officer of Tradebulls.
On Thursday, strong buying activity in banking, automobile and FMCG stocks lifted the benchmark indices for the second consecutive session, despite global cues remaining broadly negative.
The Nifty rose by 36.95 points or 0.38 per cent to close at 9,674.55 points, while the Sensex of the BSE closed at 31,369.34 points -- up 123.78 points, or 0.40 per cent.