Share markets rose on Wednesday, with the Nifty recovering from a one-month low and snapping a three-day losing streak, as recent underperformers such as State Bank of India gained on value-buying, while firmer equity indexes across the region also helped.
Markets in China and Europe recovered from the previous day's selloff, prompted by hopes that weak inflation will bring more monetary policy easing in China.
Caution also prevailed ahead of the consumer inflation data on Friday.
Indian consumer inflation probably fell to a record low in November, dragged down by falling food and fuel prices, while growth in core industries nudged factory output up in October, a Reuters poll showed.
The general lacklustre sentiment continued in the absence of any specific triggers, but investors are waiting for some reform measures from the government.
"Markets will stay volatile. Though, the trend has not changed, investors are looking for fresh cues," said Daljeet S Kohli, head of research at IndiaNivesh.
"Markets are likely to trade side-ways but the cautious sentiment will continue," he added.
The benchmark BSE Sensex closed 0.12% higher at 27,831.10, while the broader Nifty ended up 0.18% at 8,355.65.
Bank shares, which fell in the last couple of sessions, led the gains. State Bank of India closed up 3.1%. It fell 3.5% in the
past two sessions. ICICI Bank gained 0.5%.
Shares of explorers, which had declined tracking a drop in crude prices, also gained. Oil and Natural Gas Corp, which declined 4.4% on Tuesday, rose 2.6%, while Cairn India closed up 1.2%.
Indian jewellery exporters' shares gained after a source told Reuters that India will announce changes as early as this week to a rule mandating star trading houses export 100% of their gold imports.
Titan Co Ltd closed 4% higher, while Gitanjali Gems gained 9%.
Capital goods firms such as Siemens Ltd closed up 1.4% and ABB India gained 0.6% after Morgan Stanley turned overweight on industrials in its model portfolio, citing industrials to re-rate as interest rates fall in response to government action.
Shares in Jindal Steel and Power closed up 2.6% on hopes the coal block auction bidding process would help incumbents.
State-run oil marketing companies were among the losers on profit-taking after their shares gained sharply in the past several sessions on a fall in international crude prices.
Indian Oil Corp closed down 0.8%, Hindustan Petroleum Corp ended 1.4% lower and Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd closed down 0.7%.