Domestic stock markets started Monday's session on a lower note amid subdued trade in Asian peers. The S&P BSE Sensex index fell as much as 247.17 points to 39,204.90 in early trade, and the NSE Nifty moved to 11,744.95, down 78.35 points from the previous close. Selling in banking, auto, metal and energy stocks pulled the markets lower. At 9:44 am, the Sensex traded 173.39 points - or 0.44 per cent - lower at 39,278.68, while the NSE Nifty was down 58.15 points - or 0.49 per cent - at 11,765.15.
Top laggards on the 50-scrip index at the time were JSW Steel, Vedanta, Tata Steel, Grasim, Tata Motors, Reliance Industries and Indian Oil, trading between 1.47 per cent and 2.71 per cent lower.
Reliance Industries, Kotak Mahindra Bank and Axis Bank were the top drags on the Sensex.
Equities in other Asian markets Asian stocks inched higher, with a rebound in the Hong Kong market helping the mood, as investors remained cautious ahead of a closely-watched Federal Reserve meeting. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan edged up 0.1 per cent, after opening slightly weaker. Japan's Nikkei average ticked up by a similar amount.
But the simmering trade dispute between the United States and China as well as political tensions in the Middle East kept risk-appetite in check.
Asian markets got a quick boost after Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index jumped as much as 1.4 per cent. At the weekend, the territory's leader Carrie Lam climbed down on a bill that would have allowed extradition to China.
The Sensex and Nifty had ended 0.73 per cent and 0.76 per cent per cent lower respectively on Friday, extending losses to a third session in a row.
(With inputs from Reuters)
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