Domestic stock markets gave up early gains in a choppy session on Wednesday. The S&P BSE Sensex index climbed to as high as 38,980.60 in morning deals, and fell 215.51 points from that level to hit 38,765.09 on the downside. The broader NSE Nifty 50 benchmark fell to as low as 11,472.25, having gained to as high as 11,517.55 earlier compared to its previous close of 11,461.85. Gains in automobile and banking stocks were countered by losses in consumer goods, pharmaceutical and IT shares.
At 11:08 am, the Sensex traded 5.64 points - or 0.01 per cent - lower at 38,838.24, while the Nifty was up 9.70 points - or 0.08 per cent - at 11,481.95.
The Nifty Auto index - comprising shares in 15 manufacturers of automobiles and auto ancillaries - was down 0.13 per cent at the time, having risen as much as 1.57 per cent earlier on Wednesday.
Auto stocks had risen earlier on Wednesday after Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said lowering taxes on some types of vehicles was a "good suggestion".
Speaking to industry executives at a virtual briefing, the finance minister said two-wheelers merited a rate revision, in response to a question about cutting goods and services tax rates on those vehicles, the Confederation of Indian Industry said on Tuesday.
Analysts awaited the release of official data on the country's gross domestic product due next week for more clarity on the damage caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
Share markets elsewhere in Asia moved lower, after US data showed consumer confidence in the world's biggest economy had dropped to a six-year low.
US consumer confidence fell in August as households worried about the labor market and incomes, while coronavirus cases continued to rise in many countries.
While MSCI's broadest index of Asia Pacific shares outside Japan was last seen trading 0.04 per cent higher, Japan's Nikkei 225 benchmark was down 0.03 per cent.