The benchmark BSE Sensex changed gears after four sessions of loss and bounced back by over 37 points on Thursday after buying activity in beaten-down blue-chips picked up on rate cut hopes triggered by a cooling inflation.
Industrial output too cheered, which grew at a 4-month high of 3.8% in June.
There were also news reports that a government-appointed committee suggested that there was no legal basis to the imposition of the minimum alternate tax (MAT) on foreign investors, which perked up mood.
Global markets, on a higher footing, played its part too.
In a choppy trade, the 30-share Sensex opened on a firm note before settling at 27,549.53, up 37.27 points, or 0.14%.
The broad-based NSE Nifty also ended marginally higher by 6.40 points, or 0.08%, at 8,355.85 after shuttling between 8,429.50 and 8,339.75 intra-day.
Sensex had lost 785.87 points in the previous four sessions.
Brokers said investors stepped up buying after retail inflation fell to 3.78% in July, brightening the prospects of a rate reduction by the Reserve Bank.
But the spoiler came towards the end of the day when the government failed to push through with the key GST Bill in the monsoon session of Parliament that ended on Thursday.
A falling rupee, which breached the 65-mark for the first time since September 2013 at 65.17 intra-day, weighed.
The next data point market is now waiting for is WPI inflation for July, which will be announced tomorrow.
Banking, healthcare, auto and PSU all notched up gains while metal, realty, consumer durables and capital goods fell on profit-booking.
Nestle India surged 2.78% after the Bombay High Court set aside orders of food regulators banning Maggi noodles.
Of 30 Sensex stocks, 16 ended in the positive zone.
M&M (up 3.27%) led the way, followed by Cipla, Lupin and Axis Bank.
Sectorally, healthcare surged 0.79%, followed by banking, auto and PSU.
In broader markets, small-cap and mid-cap indices ended lower up to 0.83% as investors trimmed their bets.
Indices in other Asian markets, including those in Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong and China ruled firm.
European stocks were higher in early trade, buoyed by corporate earnings.