Domestic stock markets started Wednesday's session on a lower note as global equities tumbled following a selloff in US technology stocks. The S&P BSE Sensex index opened 376.79 points - or 0.98 per cent - lower at 37,988.56, and the broader NSE Nifty 50 index started the day at 11,218.60, down 98.75 points - or 0.87 per cent - from its previous close of 11,317.35. A selloff across most sectors, led by financial, consumer goods, IT and metal shares, pulled the markets lower. Pharmaceutical stocks, however, bucked the trend.
However, the markets recovered some of the opening losses in the first few minutes of trade. At 9:24 am, the Sensex traded 234.88 points - or 0.61 per cent - lower at 38,130.47, while the Nifty was down 72.25 points - or 0.64 per cent - at 11,245.10.
In the Nifty basket of 50 shares, Hindalco, ONGC, GAIL, UPL and Tata Steel, trading between 3.18 per cent and 4.27 per cent lower, were the worst hit among 41 laggards.
On the other hand, HDFC Life, Bharti Airtel and Asian Paints, trading up 1.74 per cent, 1.59 per cent and 0.94 per cent respectively, were the top Nifty gainers.
Equities elsewhere in Asia fell, and oil prices hit lows not seen since mid-June, after a rout of technology shares pulled Wall Street for the third day in a row, and a major drug maker delayed testing of a COVID-19 vaccine.
MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan slid 1.12 per cent. Japan's Nikkei 225 benchmark skidded 1.69 per cent.
The S&P 500 E-Mini futures dipped 0.01 per cent, indicating a listless start for US markets on Wednesday.
AstraZeneca Plc paused a late-stage trial of one of the leading COVID-19 vaccine candidates due to an unexplained illness in a study participant.