After moving up and down, the market benchmark Sensex closed in the green for the fifth consecutive day by edging up 13 points as investors got on with their buying activity amid foreign fund inflows.
The gains followed its best weekly performance in over four years on Friday.
Investors took a cautious line as they looked forward to the outcome of meetings of central banks.
Asian shares tumbled after Chinese trade data showed that its exports continue to languish and fell by a hefty margin.
Last week, the Sensex rallied 1,492.18 points, or 6.44%, and Nifty zoomed 455.60 points, or 6.48% -- their biggest weekly gain in more than four years.
In a volatile trade, the BSE Sensex after opening a tad higher moved up on the back of widespread gains in blue-chip stocks.
But profit-booking pulled it down as the 30-share barometer settled at 24,659.23, a paltry gain of 12.75 points, or 0.05%.
The gauge had gained 1,644.48 points in the previous four sessions on expectations of a rate cut by RBI and positive global cues after the government kept its deficit target for the next fiscal at 3.5% in the Budget 2016.
In contrast, the NSE Nifty-50, which retook the crucial 7,500-mark at the outset, gave up the day’s gains as profit-booking weighed. Finally, it closed little changed at 7,485.30 as against its previous closing of 7,485.35.
“The slump in Chinese trade due to the sharp reduction in export data has created the volatility in the market. Global markets are anticipating further stimulus from ECB on March 10 and Fed to keep the positive momentum,” said Vinod Nair, Head-Fundamental Research, Geojit BNP Paribas.
Foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) purchased shares worth a net Rs 671.57 crore last Friday, according to provisional data.
The market was closed on Monday for ‘Mahashivratri’.
Major gainers were GAIL 2.49%, RIL 2,05%, Lupin 2.05%, ITC 1.66%, HDFC 1.56%, Tata Steel 1.21%, Adani Ports 1% and NTPC 0.99%.
In the 30-share Sensex universe, 16 added to gains while 14 led by Maruti Suzuki, SBI, Hindustan Unilever, ICICI Bank, Cipla, BHEL, Axis Bank, Hero MotoCorp, Dr Reddy’s, L&T and HDFC Bank finished lower, falling by up to 2.90%.
The BSE metal index rose the most by climbing 1.70%, followed by oil and gas 1.50%, realty 0.90%, consumer durables 0.58%, FMCG 0.39% and healthcare 0.20%.
In sync with the overall trend, the broader markets too displayed a mixed trend, with the small-cap index rising 0. 24% while mid-cap index fell 0.25%.
In the rest of Asia, Japan’s Nikkei ended 0.76% down and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng shed 0.73% after China’s exports saw another hefty slump and Brent oil retreated from its near 2016 highs.
European markets too were trading in the negative zone, tracking losses across most of Asia.