The markets looked for direction, but there were no major triggers at hand. Unabated buying by domestic institutional investors and a positive trend overseas offered some relief.
Trading was marked by a streak of caution after the BSE moved ahead to 'compulsorily' delist 200 firms this week and bar their promoters from the markets for 10 years as trading in these shares has remained suspended for over a decade.
Participants also kept track of the annual Jackson Hole Economic Policy Symposium in Wyoming, scheduled for later this week. Central bankers of more than 40 countries will attend the annual gathering, which is keenly followed for policy cues.
The Sensex settled up 33 points, or 0.11 per cent, at 31,291.85.
The 30-share gauge had lost 536.61 points in the past two sessions, mostly dragged down by over 15 per cent plunge in the Infosys stock after Vishal Sikka's surprise resignation as CEO last Friday amid foreign capital outflows.
The NSE Nifty reclaimed the 9,800 mark, but gave up part of the gains due to profit-booking before ending at 9,765.55, up 11.20 points, or 0.11 per cent.
"Domestic indices couldn't sustain the momentum from a positive opening and exhibited volatility against the backdrop of the BSE putting a noose around the neck of 200 companies by announcing compulsory delisting from Wednesday," said Anand James, Chief Market Strategist, Geojit Financial Services Ltd.
The move comes at a time when authorities are clamping down on shell companies for allegedly being used as conduits for illicit fund flows.
India's second-largest IT exporter, Infosys, which had been in decline for two straight days, is back in the green by rising 0.42 per cent to Rs 877.15 on value-buying.
HCL Infosystems ended with 9.5 per cent gains after the company said it will distribute Apple products, including the iPhone, in the Indian market.
Pharma stocks led by Dr Reddy's were back in demand after the company said it has out-licensed future development, manufacturing and commercialisation of rights of its topical high potency steroid DFD-06 to Encore Dermatology.
The leader in the Sensex pack was Dr Reddy's with 2.67 per cent rise, followed by Lupin and Sun Pharma.
NTPC, Hero MotoCorp, Bajaj Auto and TCS were among those that turned red.
The broader markets such as mid and small cap indices ended lower.
The oil and gas sector was in a sweet spot, climbing 1.31 per cent, with healthcare, PSU and banking indices lending support.
Domestic institutional investors (DIIs) net bought shares worth Rs 474.72 crore. But the worry was foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) who net sold shares worth Rs 1,983.39 crore yesterday, according to provisional data.