Domestic stock markets swung between gains and losses amid volatile trade on Wednesday, and were on course to break a five-day winning run. The S&P BSE Sensex index fell as much as 1.28 per cent or 489.53 points from the day's highest level of 38,199.27 to hit 37,709.74 in afternoon, having started the session on a positive note. The broader NSE Nifty 50 benchmark moved in a range of 135.75 points between 11,238.10 and 11,102.35, as losses in auto and IT stocks offset gains in energy, metal and pharma shares.
At 1:25 pm, the Sensex traded 124.90 points - or 0.33 per cent - lower at 37,805.43, while the Nifty was at 11,122.10, down 40.15 points - or 0.36 per cent - from its previous close.
Axis Bank shares bucked the trend, jumping as much as 8.21 per cent on the BSE, 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. Automobile major Bajaj Auto and industrial conglomerate Larsen & Toubro are slated to post their earnings for the first quarter of current financial year later in the day.
Equities elsewhere in Asia turned cautious amid rising COVID-19 cases around the globe. MSCI's broadest index of Asia Pacific shares outside Japan was last seen trading 0.71 per cent lower, having given up gains registered earlier, while Japan's Nikkei 225 benchmark was down 0.58 per cent.
While China's Shanghai Composite index was up 0.37 per cent, Hong Kong's Hang Seng was down 1.71 per cent and South Korea's KOSPI barometer was flat.
The E-Mini S&P 500 futures reversed direction and were last down 0.26 per cent, indicating a negative 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.
European share markets started the day lower, with the United Kingdom's FTSE benchmark index down 0.52 per cent in early trade. France's CAC and Germany's DAX indices were down 0.91 per ent and 0.41 per cent respectively.