Markets ended a lacklustre session of trade with buying interest seen in rate sensitive stocks.
However, oil & gas index slipped following Reliance. The Sensex finally ended flat at 20,103. Nifty was unchanged at 6,075.
Asian stocks edged higher on Monday after a corporate-results-driven rally on Wall Street on Friday and amid a positive earnings outlook for Chinese firms.
However, Japanese stocks fell from near three-year highs as investors took profit.
Nikkei slipped 1% to 10,824.Shanghai Composite on the other hand surged 2.5% at 2,347.
Data released on Sunday showed that profit growth at major Chinese industrial enterprises slowed sharply to 5.3% in 2012, nearly one-fifth of the 25.4% jump seen the previous year.
Foreign institutional investors bought shares worth a net Rs 586.87 crore on Friday as per provisional data from the stock exchanges.
Interest rate sensitive realty stocks rose as the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is seen cutting its key policy rate viz. the repo rate by 25 basis points (bsp) at Third Quarter Review of Monetary Policy 2012-13 on Tuesday.
BSE realty index surged 1.8% at 2,224.
BSE auto, bankex and metal indices went up 0.5-1% each. IT stocks edged higher on renewed buying.
Tata Motors was up 2.5% at Rs 309 - the highest gainer among Sensex stocks. Hero MotoCorp, Mahindra & Mahindra and Maruti Suzuki also advanced 0.5-2% each.
From the metal space -- Sterlite and Hindalco jumped 1.7% each, followed by Tata Steel. Jindal Steel and Power however slipped in trades.
On the losing side, Reliance was the biggest dragger, accounting for a 30 points fall on the Sensex.
Reliance Industries, which is sitting on over Rs 75,000 crore in surplus cash, today launched an issue of bonds in Hong Kong and Singapore markets to raise a minimum $500 million (around Rs 2,700 crore), company sources said.
ONGC slipped 1.7% at Rs 335. Hindustan Unilever, NTPC and Sun Pharma also slipped around 1% each.
Among individual stocks, Idea Cellular's share price will rise relative to the Sensex and the Nifty over the next 15 days on the back of "positive" October-December earnings, Morgan Stanley said in a note on Friday. Shares of Idea dipped 0.5% at Rs 113.
Cairn India rose 1.5% at Rs 328 as US crude oil futures traded near the highest level in four months on speculation that a global economic recovery will boost fuel demand.
Railways shares went up. Kernex Microsystems (India) (up 6.5%), Titagarh Wagons (up 2%), Kalindee Rail Nirman (Engineers) (up 6.2%), Stone India (up 6.2%) edged higher.
The government on 17 January 2013 allowed PSU OMCs to increase diesel prices by a small margin from time to time, a decision aimed at reducing the government's oil subsidy burden and fiscal deficit and improving the government's finances. Oil marketing companies dipped with HPCL and BPCL dropping around 1-2% each.
Meanwhile, Bharti Airtel has moved Bombay HC against one-time spectrum fee. Shares of Bharti slipped half a per cent to Rs 358.
Shares of companies engaged in delivering education on information technology platform are in limelight on the bourses. Everonn Education, Educomp Solutions, MT Educare, NIIT and Aptech have rallied up to 18% on the back of huge volumes.
BSE market breadth was positive. Out of 2,972 stocks traded, 1,203 shares advanced while 986 shared declined in trades.