The 50-share Nifty hovered between a high of 5,990.90 and a low of 5,953.15 before settling at 5,959.20, a marginal gain of 2.30 points, or 0.04 per cent, over the last close.
Earlier domestic bourses witnessed a sharp rebound due to strong global cues and firm buying in beaten down frontline counters along with stock-specific actions. Mid-cap counters, too, witnessed strong buying momentum after a couple of profit booking sessions.
But consistent selling in financials, capital goods and auto scrips prevented the key index from reclaiming the 6,000 level. The market gave up its entire gains and slipped into the negative terrain towards the end before managing to just about end in the green after a four-session downtrend.
The Nifty had slumped to three-week low yesterday.
After the recent sharp sell-off, most Asian shares recovered on the back of better-than-expected eurozone data.
Most investors stayed cautious amid lack of fresh economic triggers and they are looking for a clear market direction in run-up to the Union Budget, traders said.
Kotak Bank, Jindal Steel, UltraTech, Maruti, Ambuja Cement, Bank of Baroda, Cairn, IDFC, HDFC and Bharti Airtel were the top Nifty gainers.
The key losers included JP Associates, NTPC, L&T, Coal India, Siemens, BHEL, ONGC, HUL, SBIN and Cipla.
Turnover in cash segment rose to Rs 11,500.09 crore from Rs 10,903.83 crore yesterday. A total of 6,786.08 lakh shares changed hands in 58,26,123 trades. The market capitalisation stood at Rs 67,63,547 crore.