The BSE benchmark index Sensex recovered by over 51 points to end at 19,742.52 points on the back of late buying in FMCG and banking stocks amid weak Asian and mixed European cues.
The wide-based Nifty of the National Stock Exchange regained the 6,000 mark, helped by gains in FMCG giant ITC and housing finance major HDFC. The Nifty closed up by 13.30 points at 6,001.70 points.
ITC and HDFC were the top gainers from the Sensex pack and contributed the most to the index gains, mainly helping in the fag-end recovery.
The BSE barometer initially moved in a narrow range in the negative terrain till late afternoon due to fall Asian markets, as investors adopted cautious approach after recent smart rally and also ahead of earnings season, brokers said.
But fag-end pushed it up to settle at 19,742.52, a rise of 51.10 points. Yesterday, it had dropped by 92.66 points.
Banking major SBI rose by 1.07 per cent after Bank of America Merrill Lynch upgraded the stock along with two other banks on hopes of rate cut by the Reserve Bank.
ITC rose by 2.18 per cent while HDFC gained 1.95 per cent. Bharti Airtel, TCS, ONGC and Sun Pharma also surged while Infosys, L&T, RIL, TCS and Wipro suffered losses and restricted the sensex rise.
Country's second largest software services exporters, Infosys lost 1.41 per cent ahead of its third quarter results scheduled to be announced on Friday.
Asian stocks ended lower today. Key indices in China, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore and Taiwan were down between 0.40 per cent and 0.94 per cent.
However, European markets were trading mixed with upward bias in their afternoon deals. The CAC was up by 0.30 per cent and the FTSE by 0.12 per cent while the DAX was down by 0.13 per cent.
Meanwhile, the Finance Ministry said it is not worried about the threat of ratings downgrade by global agencies like Fitch as it is moving on the right track and will restrict fiscal deficit to 5.3 per cent of the GDP in 2012-13.
Overall, 16 out of 30 Sensex-based stocks closed in the green while others finished in the red.
BHEL firmed up by 1.42 per cent, Cipla 1.31 per cent, Sun Pharma 1.30 per cent, Dr Reddy's 1.11 per cent, ONGC 0.83 per cent and TCS 0.60 per cent.
However, Tata Steel dipped by 1.55 per cent, Wipro by 1.46 per cent, L&T by 1.45 per cent, Sterlite Industries 1.08 per cent, Hero MotoCorp by 1.03 per cent, Hindalco by 0.97 per cent and RIL by 0.56 per cent.
Among sectoral indices, the BSE-Realty rose by 1.22 per cent, BSE-FMCG by 1.07 per cent, BSE-HC by 0.73 per cent and BSE-Power by 0.63 per cent while BSE-CD declined by 2.01 per cent, BSE-Metal by 0.96 per cent, BSE-CG by 0.71 per cent and BSE-IT by 0.49 per cent.
Reflecting profit-booking in second-lind stocks after overnight smart rise, the total market breadth was slightly negative with 1,478 stocks losing ground as against 1,451 finishing with gains.
Total turnover improved further to Rs2,705.16 crore from Rs2,648.82 crore yesterday.
Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs) had bought shares worth Rs963.05 crore yesterday, as per provisional data from the stock exchanges.