Domestic stock markets gave up opening gains on Wednesday, following a rally that lasted for five trading sessions in a row. The S&P BSE Sensex index fell as much as 0.58 per cent (220.59 points) from its previous close to hit 37,709.74 on the downside, soon after opening 248.81 points - or 0.66 per cent - higher at 38,179.14. The broader NSE Nifty 50 benchmark slid to as low as 11,102.35, having reversed early trend after opening stronger at 11,231.20 compared to its previous close of 11,162.25. Losses in automobile, financial and consumer goods stocks weighed on the markets, however gains in pharmaceutical, metal and energy shares kept the downside in check.
At 9:31 am, the Sensex traded 77.56 points - or 0.20 per cent - lower at 37,852.77, while the Nifty was down 16.45 points - or 0.15 per cent - at 11,145.80.
Axis Bank shares jumped 8.21 per cent to trade at Rs 482.85 apiece on the BSE at the strongest level recorded in morning deals, a day after the private sector lender reported a net profit of Rs 1,112.17 crore for the April-June period, and improvement in its asset quality.
Analysts awaited more large cap companies to report their financial results for the April-June period.
Bajaj Auto and Larsen & Toubro will report their earnings for the first quarter of current financial year later in the day.
Equities elsewhere in Asia mostly rose but investors were cautious amid rising COVID-19 cases around the globe. MSCI's broadest index of Asia Pacific shares outside Japan was last seen trading 0.30 per cent higher, but Japan's Nikkei 225 benchmark was down 0.38 per cent.
China's Shanghai Composite, Hong Kong's Hang Seng and South Korea's KOSPI indices were up 1.20 per cent, 0.08 per cent and 0.24 per cent respectively at the time.
The E-Mini S&P 500 futures were up 0.36 per cent in early Asian trade, indicating a positive start for US markets on Wednesday, a day after the S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average gauges ended 0.17 per cent and 0.60 per cent higher respectively but the technology stocks-heavy Nasdaq Composite index fell 0.81 per cent.
On Tuesday, world shares rallied to their highest since February after European Union leaders sealed a 750 billion-euro ($857 billion) recovery fund to revive regional economies ravaged by the coronavirus. The agreement drove down the risk premium on European assets and pushed gold to $1,840.01 an ounce, the highest in almost nine years.
Earlier that day, the Sensex and Nifty had registered four-month closing highs, propelled by strong buying in financial and energy shares.