Domestic stock markets started Wednesday's session on a sluggish note following a flat start, tracking weakness across Asian equities amid rising COVID-19 cases. The S&P BSE Sensex index moved within a range of 173 points between 38,818.17 and 38,991.17 in the first few minutes of trade, fluctuating between gains and losses compared to its previous close of 38,900.80. The broader NSE Nifty 50 benchmark moved within a 11,506.25-11,449.30 band, as against its previous close of 11,470.25. Gains in IT, pharmaceuticals and consumer goods shares were offset by losses in financial and automobile stocks.
At 9:40 am, the Sensex traded 88.62 points - or 0.23 per cent - higher at 38,989.42, while the Nifty was up 43.20 points - or 0.38 per cent - at 11,513.45.
Top percentage gainers in the 50-scrip basket at the time were Zee Entertainment, Bharti Infratel, UltraTech Cement, Wipro and ONGC, trading between 1.32 per cent and 3.42 per cent higher.
On the other hand, Grasim, SBI, Bajaj Auto, Tata Motors and Titan - trading between 0.80 per cent and 1.86 per cent lower - were the worst hit among the 15 Nifty losers.
Official data this week showed the country's gross domestic product contracted 23.9 per cent in the June quarter, its worst contraction on record.
Equities elsewhere in Asia gave up early gains amid lacklustre trade. MSCI's broadest index of Asia Pacific shares outside Japan was last seen trading 0.26 per cent lower, while Japan's Nikkei 225 index was up 0.24 per cent.
While China's Shanghai Composite index traded 0.39 per cent lower, Hong Kong's Hang Seng and South Korea's KOSPI gauges were down 0.67 per cent and 0.20 per cent respectively.
The E-Mini S&P 500 futures were up 0.25 per cent, indicating a positive start for Wall Street on Wednesday, a day after the benchmark index ended up 0.75 per cent led by technology stocks and optimism on better-than-expected US manufacturing data.