The Sensex edged 0.14 per cent higher after a choppy trading session on Monday, as hopes of stability in Greece improved global risk appetite and offset weak corporate earnings at home. The main 30-share BSE index closed 24.15 points up at 17,772.84, with almost two-thirds of its components gaining.
"Choppiness is a sign of nervousness. This is a thumb rule. We are at a level which is difficult to sustain at a fundamental basis," said Arun Kejriwal, an analyst at research firm KRIS.
"We have some reason to celebrate on account of Greece coming to some sort of compromise, we have some reasons to celebrate that results are not as bad as expected. So, we are just about holding," he said.
The Greek parliament's approval of austerity measures to secure a much-needed bailout lifted the euro and European shares, although with further steps needed before the shadow of a debt default can be lifted, gains may be limited.
Foreign funds have pumped in about $4 billion into Indian shares this year, in sharp contrast to net outflows of about $500 million in 2011, data from the market regulator showed.
"A very strong liquidity momentum is going on... If liquidity is the order of the day, then fundamentals tend to take a back seat," said Jagannadham Thunuguntla, head of research at SMC Global Securities in New Delhi.
Top lender State Bank of India recovered some of its losses to end 2.2 per cent lower, weighing on the benchmark the most. The bank beat market expectations with a 15 per cent rise in third-quarter net profit as interest income rose. However, net non-performing assets rose. ICICI Bank, the biggest private sector lender ended almost flat, while smaller rival HDFC Bank added 0.86 per cent.
Shares in Wipro Ltd, the country's no 3 export-driven software services firm, slumped 2.9 per cent to become the biggest percentage losers on the main index after Goldman Sachs downgraded it to 'sell' from 'neutral.' The bank said the company may continue to lag its large-cap peers in terms of revenues and earnings per share.
Energy conglomerate Reliance Industries, the country's biggest listed firm and which contributes more than a tenth to the benchmark, rose 0.71 per cent to Rs 849.25. Yesterday, the company said it signed a pact with France's Dassault Aviation for partnering in the Indian defence and homeland security sector.