Markets ended marginally higher amid a volatile trading session on Wednesday led by financials and telecom shares.
Financials were up on hopes that the central bank may ease key policy rates at its policy meet next week while telecom shares firmed up on reports that they have hiked voice call tariffs for mobile phone services.
The 30-share Sensex ended up 45 points at 20,027 after touching a high of 20,058 and a low of 19,920.
The 50-share Nifty ended up six points at 6,054 after touching a high of 6,070 and a low of 6,021.
Meanwhile, the broader markets closed in the red with both the midcap and the smallcap indices losing 0.8% each.
In Asia, the Nikkei average fell a third straight day, reaching a three-week closing low on Wednesday after the Bank of Japan's [ Images ] easing steps fell short of expectations, triggering profit-taking in shares bought in anticipation of the central bank decision.
The Nikkei dropped 2.1 per cent to 10,486.99, logging its biggest one-day percentage fall in a week.
Hong Kong shares slipped from a 19-1/2-month high on Wednesday, pulled down by weakness among growth-sensitive counters as benchmark indexes faltered at chart resistance levels after a strong start to the year.
The Hang Seng Index closed down 0.1 per cent at 23,635.1 after closing on Tuesday at its highest since June 1, 2011.
However, The Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.3 per cent.
European markets slipped after the initial optimism about upbeat corporate earnings. FTSE, CAC and DAX slipped between 0.1-0.7%.
Back home, among the sectoral indices, banks and Capital goods edged higher and closed up 0.8% and 0.2% respectively.
All the other indices were in the red with Realty, PSU, Consumer durables, Auto, Metal and Oil & Gas down 0.5-2%.
The draggers in the realty space were HDIL which plunged 14% as the real estate developer sold part of its holding via open market transaction on Tuesday.
Unitech, Oberoi Realty, Sobha Developers [ Get Quote ] and DLF slipped 0.7-1%.
All the major auto names closed in the red. Tata Motors [ Get Quote ], Bajaj Auto [ Get Quote ] and Mahindra & Mahindra slipped 0.1-2%.
The other major losers were Hindustan Unilever down 4% after a number of investment banks, including Credit Suisse and Nomura, cut their ratings on slower-than-expected volume growth and a hike in royalty payments.
Hindalco [ Get Quote ], Gail India [ Get Quote ], ONGC [ Get Quote ] and NTPC down 1-1.5% were the other notable names.
On the gaining side were Tata Power [ Get Quote ], ITC, Hero MotoCorp. HDFC [ Get Quote ], ICICI Bank [ Get Quote ], SBI [ Get Quote ], Wipro [ Get Quote ] and L&T added 0.6-2%.
Shares of mobile phone service providers such as Bharti Airtel [ Get Quote ], Idea Cellular [ Get Quote ] and Reliance [ Get Quote ] Communication rallied 0.6-4% in today's trade on reports on hike in voice call tariffs.
The market breadth was negative on the BSE. 1386 stocks declined while 810 stocks advanced.
In individual stocks, Syndicate Bank [ Get Quote ] tanked 5% to Rs 132, after reporting a net profit of Rs 508 crore for the third quarter ended December 31, 2012 (Q3) mainly due to MAT credit of Rs 141 crore during the quarter.
The state-owned bank had profit of Rs 338 crore during the same quarter of the previous fiscal.
Sasken [ Get Quote ] Communications Technologies rallied 8% to Rs 130 on the back of heavy volumes after reporting robust sequential net profit growth in the third quarter due to higher other income and lower expenditure.
Ajanta Pharma [ Get Quote ] was locked in 20% upper circuit at Rs 491, also its 52-week high, after reporting 76% year-on-year (yoy) growth in net profit at Rs 32.57 crore for the third quarter ended December 31, 2012 (Q3) on account of higher sales income.
Jaypee Infratech dipped almost 9% at Rs 48 after the company said that its promoter Jaiprakash Associates [ Get Quote ] has propose to sell 27.86 million equity shares of the company via offer-for-sale (OFS) on tomorrow.
Oil India was down by over 5% at Rs 533 after shares of the state-owned oil exploration and production firm turned ex-dividend today.
JSW Energy moved higher by 3% to Rs 74 after reporting a better-than-expected consolidated net profit of Rs 311 crore for the third quarter ended December 31, 2012 (Q3) against analyst expectation of Rs 200 crore.
The company had made loss of Rs 83 crore in a year ago quarter.