Mumbai, Jan 6: After three days of losses, the BSE Sensex ended flat today in highly volatile trade, up barely 11 points at 15,867.73 on late value-buying in blue-chips such as RIL and HDFC amid firm cues from European markets.
The BSE 30-share barometer opened weak and touched a low of 15,664.91, down over 192 points on weak Asian cues and worries over the euro-zone debt crisis.
Besides, investors remained cautious ahead of the third quarter corporate results season starting next week.
However, firm openings in Europe and comments from Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee that low inflation and likely reversal of tight monetary policy would boost economic growth prospects pushed up the Sensex to 16,001.31, a gain of over 144 points.
However, caution returned to the market and pulled the index down to close at 15,867.73, 10.65 points or 0.07 per cent up, with the index heavyweight Reliance Industries Ltd gaining 2.52 per cent.
RIL regained its position as the country's most valued company from Tata group firm TCS, as a game of musical chairs continued for this spot between the two.
Overall, brokers said investors were expecting weak Q3 earnings from some key companies due to slowdown in economic growth due to higher interest rates and input costs.
While HDFC gained 2.25 per cent and ICICI - 0.55 pc, SBI fell 0.92 per cent, Jayaprakash Associates by 4.58 per cent and Hero MotoCorp by 5.12 per cent.
The NSE 50-scrip Nifty gained 4.15 points, or 0.09 per cent to 4,754.10, after moving between 4,794.90 and 4,686.85.