A weak trend in overseas markets also capped any rise. In Sensex, 12 stocks led by pharma majors Cipla (up 0.87% and Dr Reddys (up 1.36%) led gains. FMCG stocks led by ITC (1.64%) also closed higher.
Other supporters to the market were stocks of HDFC Bank, BHEL, Coal India, Maruti Suzuki, ONGC, Sterlite and HDFC.
Brokers said the stock market was not able to fully ignore the sharp fall in rupee that dropped 1.44% or 77 paise to 54.58 against the US dollar due to heavy dollar demand.
"Generally it is observed that equity markets fall if dollar rises. However, benchmark indices were able to hold their fort against the strong surge in dollar," said Milan Bavishi, Head Research, Inventure Growth & Securities.
Metal and auto stocks came under pressure on selling. Bajaj Auto ended over 2 per cent lower. Besides, two of the most influential stocks -- Reliance Industries declined by 0.35% and Infosys fell by 0.44%.
The NSE index Nifty rose by 6.50 points to close at 5,704.20, after touching the day's low of 5,679.50.