FII's have helped underpin gains, buying shares worth 14.65 billion rupees on Monday, with net purchases in shares reaching $2.27 billion so far this month, according to SEBI data.
Sharp falls in Reliance and Oil and Natural Gas Corp following an unexpected request by the Election Commission late on Monday for the government to defer a rise in gas prices, prevented any meaningful upside.
Traders are seen locking some profits in the coming days after the near 4.4 percent gain in March so far, ahead of eventful next few weeks with the Reserve Bank of India's policy review on April 1, the general elections due to conclude by May, and the expiry of equity derivative contracts on Thursday.
It's normal to see market trading with flattish tone ahead of F&O expiry as traders' focus shifts to rollover and unwinding of positions. But, it would be over soon and we expect that the markets will resume the prevailing uptrend.
The Nifty rose 0.1 percent, or 6.25 points, to 6,589.75, while the benchmark BSE Sensex ended flat at 22,055.21.
The Nifty and Sensex had earlier hit their lifetime highs of 6,595.55 and 22,079.96 respectively, surpassing their previous all-time highs hit on Monday.
Among the stocks , Larsen & Toubro rose 1.5 percent, while Hero MotoCorp gained 3.3 percent.Also, ICICI Bank Ltd gained 0.8 percent, while ITC Ltd rose 0.6 percent.Arvind Ltd gained 5.7 percent after the retailer said on Monday that a unit had bought a 49 percent stake in Calvin Klein India for an undisclosed amount.
Shares of gas distributor Indraprastha Gas Ltd rose 4.1 percent after the country's election commission asked the government to defer a planned hike in gas prices due to start on April 1.
Shares of other companies dependant on gas also rose. Tata Power Co Ltd gained 1.4 percent, while Chambal Fertilisers and Chemicals Ltd rose 3.6 percent.
Reliance Industries ended 2.9 percent lower and ONGC lost 0.4 percent as the potential delay in gas price hike was seen hitting their earnings.