The key domestic benchmark indices remained directionless during the late noon trading session as they swung between the positive and negative terrain ahead of the Bihar state election set to be unveiled on Sunday.
At 14:17 hours, Sensex was at 26237.3 down by 66.9 points or by 0.25 per cent, while the NSE Nifty was at 7933 down by 22.45 points or by 0.28 per cent.
Investors have turned cautious after the Thursday exit poll suggested a close contest between NDA and the Nitish Kumar-led Mahagatbandhan.
In the choppy trade so-far, Sensex touched an intraday high of 26438.86 and an intraday low of 26190.18, while the NSE Nifty touched an intraday high of 8002.65 and an intraday low of 7926.15.
Major laggards on the D-street included Dr. Reddy's Laboratories Ltd. (Rs. 3652.00,-14.12%), Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. (Rs. 1223.00,-2.95%), Tata Steel Ltd. (Rs. 219.00,-2.93%), Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd. (Rs. 189.30,-2.52%), GAIL (India) Ltd. (Rs. 288.10,-2.41%), among others.
However, some buying interest was witnessed in stocks including State Bank of India (Rs. 240.65,+2.89%), Bank of Baroda (Rs. 163.65,+2.67%), Punjab National Bank (Rs. 132.55,+2.28%), Reliance Industries Ltd. (Rs. 950.00,+1.43%), Infosys Ltd. (Rs. 1137.25,+1.28%), among others.
Among the sectors, healthcare and metal indices remained on the seller"s radar, declining 2.61 per cent and 1.3 per cent respectively.
The Market breadth, indicating the overall strength of the market, was weak. On BSE out of total shares traded 2753, shares advanced were 981 while 1635 shares declined and 137 were unchanged.
On the global front, Asian peers ended the day on a mixed note ahead of a U.S. jobs report that's likely to influence whether the Federal Reserve raises interest rates in December. Meanwhile, European counters were also trading mixed.