Indian equity benchmarks started Friday's session on an almost flat note, with the Nifty50 benchmark starting the day above the 16,300 mark, ahead of the Reserve Bank of India's policy decision due at 10 am.
The NSE Nifty50 benchmark began the day at 16,304.40, up 9.80 points or 0.06 percent from its previous close, and the S&P BSE Sensex gauge opened down 0.67 point at 54,492.17.
At 9:16 am, Sensex traded 52.89 points or 0.10 percent higher at 54,545.73, but Nifty50 was down 17.80 points or 0.11 percent at 16,276.80.
IndusInd Bank, M&M, Tata Consumer, Sun Pharma, Grasim and SBI, between 0.80 percent and 1.46 percent higher in early deals, were the top gainers among blue-chip stocks.
On the other hand, Cipla, HCL Tech, Bharti Airtel, Dr Reddy's, Infosys and TCS -- down between 0.36 percent and 2.18 percent -- were the worst hit among the 19 laggards in the Nifty50 universe.
RIL, ICICI Bank and HDFC were the biggest boosts for Sensex.
The central bank is widely expected to keep the benchmark rates at existing levels on Friday, but Street keenly awaited a roadmap for the inevitable policy normalisation.
Equities in other Asian markets failed to catch a firm lead from Wall Street as the spread of the Delta variant of Covid-19 heightened worries about the its economic recovery.
MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan lost 0.35 percent, dragged by Chinese blue chips, which fell 0.56 percent and a 0.46 percent fall in Hong Kong. Japan's Nikkei 225 index eked out a gain of 0.11 percent.
Overnight on Wall Street, the Nasdaq and S&P 500 indices closed at record levels after a spate of strong corporate earnings and a further decline in US unemployment claims. The Dow Jones industrial average ended 0.78 percent higher.
All eyes are now on the jobs report for July due later in the day.
Meanwhile, crude oil paused for breath in early Asian trade on Friday, but was set for its biggest weekly loss since October after falls earlier in the week due to rising coronavirus cases and a surprise build in US crude stockpiles. Brent crude was at $71.28 per barrel, down 0.01 percent.
First Published: IST