The domestic markets are flat in early trade, amid heightened choppiness, as investors worldwide weigh China's response to the coronavirus outbreak. At 9.40 a.m, the BSE Sensex was quoting at 41,290, higher by 41 points or 0.1 per cent and NSE Nifty was at 12,119, up one point. There was mild weakness on the broader market front, with the BSE Midcap and Smallcap index losing 0.4 per cent each at 15,594 and 14,618 respectively.
Stocks in Asia began the week on a mixed footing as further signs of policy support from China and other countries helped prop up sentiment amid efforts to counter the fallout from the deadly coronavirus.
On the Asian front, Japan's Topix index lost 0.9 per cent, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng rose 0.7 per cent and Shanghai Composite added 0.9 per cent and South Korea's Kospi index gained 0.2 per cent.
Meanwhile, then rupee opened weak at 71.45 at the interbank forex market and then fell further to 71.47, down 10 paise over its last close. The rupee had settled at 71.37 against the US dollar on Friday. And brent crude futures fell 0.19 per cent to USD 57.21 per barrel.
On Friday, the Dow Jones had fallen 126 points or 0.4 per cent to 29,297 and Nasdaq Composite had dropped 14 points or 0.1 per cent to 9,697
Meanwhile, reports suggest that telecom operators Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Idea and Tata Teleservices will make payments towards adjusted gross revenue (AGR)-related dues during the course of the day to avoid stringent punitive action from the Department of Telecommunications.
On Friday, the Sensex had ended 202 points or 0.5 per cent lower at 41,258 and NSE Nifty 50 had fallen 61 points or 0.5 per cent to close at 12,113.
All the NSE stock indices were trading in the red, with the exception of the FMCG index. The NSE PSU Bank index had shed more than 1.6 per cent, with SBI, PNB and Bank of Baroda shedding up to 2 per cent each.
Among the large-cap names, ONGC, ICICI Bank, SBI and Sun Pharma were exerting pressure on the benchmark indices, with losses of 1.1 per cent to 2.7 per cent each.
On the other hand, the leading gainers on BSE were TCS, IndusInd Bank and Hindustan Unilever (gaining between 0.5 per cent to 1 per cent each).
The market breadth was weak. Out of 1642 stoks traded on the BSE, there were 648 advancing stocks as against 912 declines.