After a weak start in the absence of any clear direction, market moved in a tight range but picked up steam late in the afternoon on some low level buying support.
The Nifty briefly crossed the psychologically crucial 5,900 levels before giving back some gains.
The overall market sentiment has been shaken a bit after operators endured losses for three weeks in a row, traders said.
With the Union Budget scheduled for February 28 just a few sessions away, which incidentally falls on F&O expiry day, market participants have lightened their long positions and avoiding fresh commitments expecting high volatility in coming days, they said.
Globally, most Asian markets finished higher with the Nikkei rallying on expectation of a more aggressive monetary stimulus from Bank of Japan.
The 50-share Nifty moved between 5,911.00 and 5,878.45 before finishing at 5,898.20, a gain of 10.80 points, or 0.18 per cent, over the previous close.
Realty major DLF jumped on certain comments made by the management. The stock rallied by 4.97 per cent in today's trade. JP Associates, Tata Steel, Power Grid, Reliance Infra, Hindustan Unilever, Cairn L&T, BHEL and Sesa Goa were the other top Nifty gainers.
The key laggards include Jindal Steel, Coal India, TCS, Bajaj Auto, Ultratech Cement, ONGC, Bharti Airtel, Dr Reddy, Axis Bank and Asian Paints.
Turnover in the cash segment dropped sharply to 8,181.24 crore from Rs 10,030.45 crore last Friday. A total of 5,039.97 lakh shares changed hands in 47,79,058 trades. The total market capitalisation stood at Rs 66,36,848 crore.