Mumbai: Foreign institutional investors (FIIs) sold off close to USD 259 million at Indian equities markets in the week ended Friday amid volatile trading that saw benchmark indices close on a flat note. According to data available with the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), FIIs off-loaded stocks worth USD 258.87 million during the week ended Sep 16.

For the month, however, FII inflows were positive at USD 402.28 million. It was a reasonable show, compared to the USD 2.39 billion they sold in August.

During the week, benchmark indices only nudged up as trade remained highly volatile amid dismal industrial output numbers and the 12th successive rate hike by the Reserve Bank of India.

Industrial output growth slumped to 3.3 percent in July, the lowest in 21 months.

The 30-scrip sensitive index (Sensex) of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) ended the week at 16,933.83 points, up 0.40 percent or 66.66 points from its previous week's close at 16,866.97 points.

FII inflows have been tardy in 2011.

The net inflows till the last week of August from overseas institutional buyers had turned negative, compared to the record $28.83 billion overseas funds pumped into the Indian markets in 2010.

However, in September, FIIs have showed better buying appetite and the net inflows for 2011 as on Sep 16 now stand at a little over USD 446.6 million.