The Indian equity benchmarks edged lower on Tuesday weighed down by losses in Hindalco, Tata Steel, Reliance Industries, HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank and Axis Bank. The Sensex fell as much as 162 points and Nifty 50 index fell below its important psychological level of 18,100. The downside was capped as buying in Larsen & Toubro, Tata Consultancy Services, Maruti Suzuki and Tech Mahindra provided support to the markets.
As of 9:21 am, the Sensex was down 117 points at 60,600 and Nifty 50 index declined 16 points to 18,093.
Overnight, the dollar climbed to a 16-month high on Monday while US stocks dipped slightly as investors searched for a clearer economic picture.
Persistent concerns that inflation may be rising more sharply and sticking around longer than originally expected weighed on Wall Street, with pessimism weighing on stocks and oil and pushing safe havens like the U.S. dollar upwards.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.04 per cent, the S&P 500 ended flat, and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 0.04 per cent.
Back home, ten of 15 sector gauges compiled by the National Stock Exchange were trading lower led by the Nifty Bank index's 0.5 per cent decline.
Nifty Financial Services, Pharma, Metal, PSU Bank, Private Bank, Healthcare, Consumer Durables and Oil & Gas indices were also trading lower.
On the other hand, Auto, FMCG, Information Technology, Media and Real Estate shares were witnessing buying interest.
Mid- and small-cap shares were outperforming their larger peers as Nifty Midcap 100 index rose 0.26 per cent and Nifty Smallcap 100 index advanced 0.42 per cent.
HDFC was top Nifty loser, the stock fell 1.2 per cent to Rs 2,965. Asian Paints, Kotak Mahindra Bank, Power Grid, Cipla, Reliance Industries, NTPC, Indian Oil, Eicher Motors, HDFC Bank, UPL, Bharat Petroleum and Divi's Labs also fell between 0.35-1 per cent.
On the flipside, Tata Motors, JSW Steel, Maruti Suzuki, Adani Ports, Hero MotoCorp, Mahindra & Mahindra, Coal India, Bajaj Finserv and Tata Steel were among the gainers.
The overall market breadth was positive as 1,655 shares were advancing while 975 were declining on the BSE.