Poorer-than-expected corporate results and expiry of May series derivatives halted five straight weeks of gains for Indian equity indices during the five-day trading session ended Friday, as traders also awaited the central bank's monetary policy update next week.
The saving grace, nevertheless, came on Friday, when key equities rose around 1.75 percent.
"Indices finally inched higher after five-day consolidation. Hopes of a rate cut by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), broad-based renewed buying interest and mixed bag of corporate earnings in the week also weighed on the sentiment," said Gaurav Jain, Director, Hem Securities.
"Macro-economic data like the gross domestic product growth for last quarter of last fiscal, RBI policy, global cues and the remaining large corporate earnings will become the cues for market direction in the coming week," Jain added.
The volatility in the market was evident from the data available with the Bombay Stock Exchance (BSE) that showed that its key benchmark, the 30-share sensitive index (Sensex), had moved in a wide range of 549.94 points during the week.
The loss for the index was 129.06 points, or 0.46 percent during the week. At the National Stock Exchange (NSE), the broader 50-share Nifty settled lower by 25 points ot 0.3 percent.
The Nifty ended lower on the first four days of the week, and gained only on Friday, while the Sensex ended lower on the first two days, then gained marginally on Wednesday, and ended Friday with a gain again, with a fall in the interim on Thursday. Foreign funds emerged net sellers.
"The foreign institutional investors (FIIs) have been the net sellers of the Indian stocks to the tune of Rs.347.64 crore and the domestic investors bought Indian shares worth a net of Rs.659.70 crore as on May 27, 2015," said brokerage Sharekhan.
Looking at sector-specific indices of BSE, those for consumer durables gained 2.54 percent, state- run firms, up 2.03 percent, oil and gas, up 1.54 percent, and banking up 1.50 percent. However, the IT index lost 1.51 percent, metals, down 1.34 percent, and realty, down 1.28 percent.
Among the 30 Sensex stocks, Bharti was the top gainer during the week in review, up 7.66 percent at Rs.425.30, followed by Bharat Electricals, up 7.54 percent at Rs.251.60, Coal India, up 4.43 percent at Rs.391.30, Hero Motor, up 3.6 percent at Rs.2,696.00, and Axix Bank, up 2.73 percent at Rs.585.25.
Tata Motors, led the losers, down 6.40 percent at Rs.481.60, followed by Hindustan Aluminium, down 5.83 percent at Rs.129.15, Vedanta, down 5.18 percent at Rs.196.70, HDFC, down 4.04 percent at Rs.1,235.50, and Tata Steel, down 3.82 percent at Rs.328.50.
Looking at next week, the faster-than-expected growth in India's gross domestic product (GDP) at 7.3 percent, which was released by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) after the close of market session on Friday, will be viewed positively. The central bank policy update is expected next Tuesday.
"The new expiry has given a good start with expectation on rate cut on Tuesday," said Vinod Nair, head of fundamental research with Geojit BNP Paribas. The 4.9 percent retail inflation, against the central bank's target of 6 percent by end-year gives room for lower interest rate, he added.
"A rate cut and a positive outlook by the Reserve Bank will provide additional strength."