Following mixed global cues, the Bombay Stock Exchange benchmark index Sensex today ended marginally higher by gaining 15 points on funds buying in select counters.

After opening 104 points higher following Asian markets, the Sensex pared the gains to shut shop for the day with a meagre gain of 14.89 points to 17,701.13, a level last seen on February 21, 2008.

The benchmark index, which had rallied nearly 343 points in the past three trading sessions, shuttled between 17,790.33 and 17,636.71 during the day on alternate bouts of trading.

The National Stock Exchange index Nifty 50 too reflected the trend and settled the day with a 3.60 point gain at 5,281.50, after touching a high of 5,310.85, a level last seen on February 28, 2008.

Marketmen said the investors are awaiting the earnings season, and hence the subdued sentiments. Also, the global cues were mixed today with almost-flat Asian and European market and a negative Wall Street.

Among the Sensex stocks, 15 closed with gains while the rest ended lower. Trading sentiment was divided on weak global trends and amid foreign funds remaining net buyers at select counters.

After a two-day fall, the index heavyweight Reliance surged 1.80 per cent to Rs 1,088.80 while second heaviest Infosys Technologies declined 1.35 per cent to Rs 2,584.60.

Banking stocks were in better form after the direct tax collection December rose over 22 per cent. The index-linked State Bank, ICICI Bank and Punjab National Bank gained on investment buying.

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