By Indulal PM
MUMBAI (Reuters) - The BSE Sensex and the Nifty rose on Friday, to their second consecutive weekly gains, as technology stocks such as Infosys extended a rally this year after data continued to signal a sturdier U.S. economy.
India's software services sector has been among the strongest winners this year and is set to end 2013 on a strong note after Wall Street hit a new peak on strong data from the holiday shopping season and a fall in initial jobless claims.
Foreign institutional investors (FIIs) remain buyers of domestic shares, with a net purchase of 7.44 billion rupees on Thursday, bringing the monthly total so far to around $2.5 billion.
"I believe the downside is capped for the time being. Global markets are near record high, which is positive, and FIIs are continuously buying. We expect markets to trade in a range, with a positive bias for the short- to medium-term," said Suresh Parmar, head, institutional equities at KJMC Capital Markets.
The Sensex closed up 0.56 percent at 21,193.58, gaining 0.54 percent for the week.
The Nifty ended higher 0.56 percent at 6,313.80, marking a 0.63 percent gain for the week.
That marked the second consecutive weekly gains for both indexes.
Infosys ended up 1.15 percent at 3,561.30, just short of its record high of 3,573.00 hit on December 20.
Tata Consultancy Services gained 2.87 percent, while Wipro closed 1.18 percent higher.
Blue chips also benefited from continued buying by foreign investors. Housing Development Finance Corp gained 1.17 percent, while State Bank of India rose 1 percent.
Meanwhile, power companies gained after the cabinet on Thursday approved the supply of additional coal from Coal India to nine power plants.
Sesa Sterlite rose 0.9 percent, while GMR Infrastructure added 0.4 percent.
However, Maruti Suzuki fell 1 percent after Kotak Securities downgraded the stock to "sell" from "reduce", saying the outlook for the company will be more challenging than currently priced by the stock.
Bharat Heavy Electricals fell 0.9 percent on profit-taking after gaining 11.8 percent as of Thursday's close.
(Reporting by Indulal PM; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)