The broader markets outperformed the benchmark indices in noon deals as investors booked profits in large caps and bought select mid-cap and small-cap shares.
At 1:16PM, the Sensex was down 4 points at 19,738 and the Nifty was down 9 points at 5,992.
Asian stocks were up on the back of better-than-expected fourth quarter sales from US aluminum major Alcoa Inc.'s Q4 December 2012. The Nikkei was up 0.7%, the Hang Seng gained 0.4% and Straits Times was up 0.3%.
The sectoral indices on the BSE was led by Auto, Realty and Healthcare while FMCG, Consumer Durables and Metal indices were the laggards.
Index heavy-weights such as Reliance Industries along with Tata Motors after Credit Suisse and CLSA upgraded their ratings on the car-maker. Reliance Ind was up 0.4% while Tata Motors was up 4.4%.
Coal India was up 1.9% on reports that the government has invited expression of interest to undertake restructuring.
Bharti Airtel was up 1.2%. Local brokerage LKP has a 'buy' call on the stock with a price target of Rs 380. "We have turned positive on the telecom sector, within which we believe that Bharti will be the key beneficiary of the regulatory softening and benign competitive environment," the brokerage said in a note.
On the losing side, ITC was among the top losers on profit taking after recent gains. TCS, HDFC, Tata Steel and BHEL were among the other Sensex losers.
Among other shares, Bhushan Steel has dipped almost 10% to Rs 437 after the company has announced a rights issue in the ratio of 1:15 at price of Rs 335 per share. The New Delhi-based steel maker will be issuing one equity share at a price of Rs 335 for every 15 equity shares held by its existing shareholders through the issue.
The broader markets outperformed the benchmarks with both the mid-cap and small-cap indices up 0.2-0.3% each.
Market breadth was marginally positive with 1,432 gainers and 1,318 losers on the BSE.