The Sensex ended lower by 8.35 points, or 0.04%, to 19,317.01. The gauge moved between 19,401.75 and 19,289.83 during the session. The index had dropped 317 points in the previous session.
Brokers said the market participants were cautious ahead of the general budget this month-end and refrained from enlarging their positions.
They said the market was partly supported on mixed pattern of trade in global markets and an upsurge in market-heavy Reliance Industries on reports the company with its Russian partner starting butyl rubber plant in Gujarat.
The RIL stock rose 0.69% to Rs862.65 and second heavy Infosys rose by 1.06% to Rs2,836.55. The two carry nearly 16% weightage on the Sensex. Another index-kitty stock Bharti Airtel surge 4.64% to Rs309.80 on company bond-sale plans.
HDFC Ltd fell by 1.84% to Rs800.35 on Goldman Sachs downgrading the stock, while ITC fell by 1.50% to Rs292.05 on fears of hike in excise duty in the budget.
In 30-BSE index components, 15 stocks declined led by Coal India, Maruti Suzuki, Tata Motors, HDFC Bank, Hindustan Unilever, State Bank of India and Hero MotoCorp.