The Indian equity benchmarks edged lower on Wednesday taking cues from subdued trading in other Asian markets. The Sensex declined as much as 165 points and Nifty 50 index slipped below its important psychological level of 15,850. Asian shares were subdued on Wednesday with investors wary of any hint of hawkishness from the U.S. Federal Reserve given lofty asset valuations rely so heavily on an endless supply of super-cheap money.
As of 9:24 am, the Sensex was down 81 points and Nifty 50 index declined 23 points to 15,846.
MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan barely moved, while Chinese blue chips dipped 0.3 per cent.
Japan's Nikkei eased 0.2 per cent, but South Korean stocks rose 0.6 per cent to a record high after five months of effort.
Back home, eight of 11 sector gauges compiled by the National Stock Exchange were trading lower led by the Nifty Metal index's 0.6 per cent fall.
Nifty Auto, IT and Pharma indices were also trading with a negative bias.
On the other hand, FMCG and PSU Banking shares were witnessing buying interest.
Mid- and small-cap shares were trading mixed as Nifty Midcap 100 index declined 0.5 per cent and Nifty Smallcap 100 index rose 0.04 per cent.
On the primary market front KIMS Hospitals and Dodla Dairy initial public offerings (IPOs) opened for bidding today.
Tata Consumer Products was top Nifty gainer, the stock rose 1.6 per cent to hit record high of Rs 734. ONGC, UPL, Indian Oil, Hindustan Unilever, ITC, Coal India, Wipro, State Bank of India, Axis Bank, Bajaj Finserv and Mahindra & Mahindra were also among the gainers.
On the flipside, Hindalco, Adani Ports, JSW Steel, Power Grid, Grasim Industries, Bajaj Finance, Reliance Industries, HCL Technologies and Bajaj Auto were among the losers.
The overall market breadth was positive as 1,430 shares were advancing while 1,239 were declining on the BSE.