The benchmark Sensex on Tuesday ended flat at 13,518.80 points after a disastrous start, as funds and retail investors started buying stocks at attractive low levels.
The 30-share index had started the day with a loss of 480 points feeding fears of a crash following a fresh crisis in global financial markets brought about by the collapse of US investment banker Lehman Brothers and the sellout of Merrill Lynch.
Fag-end buying by funds in heavy-weight stocks amid short-covering by speculators, however, helped wipe-off most of the early losses and the index settled just 12.47 points down from yesterday's close.
The wide-based National Stock Exchange index Nifty managed to close in positive zone with a marginal rise of 2 points, or 0.05 per cent, at 4,074.90 points after touching a low of 3,919.35 and a high of 4,090.10 points.
Stockbrokers attributed the rebound in the share prices to late buying by funds as well as retail investors at prevailing lower levels.
They said covering-up of heavy short positions by speculators also helped shares to recover early losses.
Among sectoral indices, oil and gas index ended 113.67 points higher at 8,928.13 followed by banking index by 60.39 points at 6,852.41 and PSU index by 24.87 points at 6,460.61. FMCG index gained 4.62 points at 2,180.56.
Reliance Industries staged a comeback and closed higher by Rs 44.35, or 2.28 per cent, at Rs 1,928.45 after touching sessions low of Rs 1,800 and a high of Rs 1,935. SBI too recovered by Rs 96.60, or 6.49 per cent, at Rs 1,585.50 while BHEL ended at Rs 1,647.25, a gain of Rs 19, or 1.17 per cent over the it last close.