Domestic stock markets started Tuesday's session on a lacklustre note, switching between gains and losses in a narrow range, amid a mixed trend in Asian shares as investors assessed the prospect of a fast recovery from the coronavirus pandemic. The S&P BSE Sensex index fell 85.03 points - or 0.22 per cent - to 38,332.20 at the weakest level recorded in early deals, having started the day up 80.84 points at 38,498.07. The broader NSE Nifty 50 benchmark slid to as low as 11,328.75, after opening mildly stronger at 11,378.55 compared to its previous close of 11,355.05.
Both indices changed direction at least five times after a positive start. At 9:22 am, the Sensex traded 10.08 points lower at 38,407.15, while the Nifty was down 1.55 point at 11,353.50, as losses in select banking and financial services stocks offset gains in IT and pharmaceutical shares.
Bharti Infratel, Tata Motors, Power Grid, Titan and HDFC, trading between 0.80 per cent and 2.27 per cent lower, were the worst hit among the 30 laggards in the 50-scrip Nifty basket.
Cipla, Bharat Petroleum, Reliance Industries, Hero MotoCorp and Infosys, trading between 0.61 per cent and 1.14 per cent higher, were the top Nifty gainers.
HDFC and Kotak Mahindra Bank were largest drags to Sensex, whereas Reliance Industries and Infosys were the biggest supports.
The NSE's India VIX index - which gauges the expectation of volatility in the near term - climbed up as much as 0.86 per cent.
Asian shares and US stock futures regained some footing on Tuesday following a small bounce in European markets as investors looked to whether US tech shares could recover from their recent rout.
While MSCI's broadest index of Asia Pacific shares outside Japan was last seen trading 0.30 per cent lower, Japan's Nikkei 225 index was up 0.52 per cent.
China's Shanghai Composite and Hong Kong's Hang Seng gauges were down 0.28 per cent and 0.83 per cent respectively, while South Korea's KOSPI barometer was up 0.51 per cent.
The E-Mini S&P 500 futures were up 0.32 per cent, indicating a positive opening opening for US markets on Tuesday following a day's holiday.