Profit booking, along with a political logjam in Parliament over the demonetisation drive and lower European markets, subdued the Indian equities markets during the mid-afternoon trade session on Thursday.
However, higher global crude oil prices, buoyant Asian markets, appreciation in rupee and largely positive macro-economic data arrested any major falls.
The wider 51-scrip Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) edged lower by 6.60 points or 0.08 per cent to 8,217.90 points.
The barometer 30-scrip sensitive index (Sensex) of the BSE, which opened at 26,756.66 points, traded at 26,5622.53 points (at 2.30 p.m.) -- down 30.28 points or 0.11 per cent from the previous close at 26,652.81 points.
The Sensex has touched a high of 26,769.32 points and a low of 26,608.96 points during the intra-day trade so far.
The BSE market breadth was skewed in favour of the bears -- with 1,406 declines and 1,149 advances.
According to Anand James, Chief Market Strategist, Geojit BNP Paribas Financial Services, a spurt of profit booking after the equities markets had a positive opening led to the fall.
"Profit booking after the markets rose consistently since the last Friday and mornings healthy opening due to higher global crude oil prices has led to the fall," James told IANS.
Dhruv Desai, Director and Chief Operating Officer of Tradebulls, the CNX Nifty traded with volatile sentiments due to short covering at lower levels.
"Bank Nifty traded with bearish sentiments due to selling pressure. IT, FMCG and pharma stocks witnessed healthy recovery, while banking and auto stocks traded with mix sentiments," Desai said.
"Oil-Gas, textile, aviation, media-entertainment stocks traded with bearish sentiments. Bearish USD/INR futures prices supported the Indian equity markets at lower levels."