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 [ Get Quote ] (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 [ Get Quote ] 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 [ Get Quote ] jumped 1.7% each, followed by Tata Steel [ Get Quote ]. 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 [ Get Quote ], 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 [ Get Quote ] slipped 1.7% at Rs 335. Hindustan Unilever, NTPC and Sun Pharma [ Get Quote ] also slipped around 1% each.
Among individual stocks, Idea Cellular's [ Get Quote ] 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 [ Get Quote ] 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 [ Get Quote ] (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 [ Get Quote ] and BPCL [ Get Quote ] dropping around 1-2% each.
Meanwhile, Bharti Airtel [ Get Quote ] 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 [ Get Quote ], MT Educare, NIIT [ Get Quote ] 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.