The Indian equity benchmarks edged lower on Tuesday owing to weak cues from other Asian markets. Asian markets were trading lower on concerns new coronavirus outbreaks in the region could undercut an economic recovery even as robust momentum in the United States prompts the Federal Reserve to contemplate a quicker exit from accommodative policy. Meanwhile, the Sensex declined as much as 183 points and Nifty 50 index fell below its important psychological level of 15,800.
As of 10:30 am, the Sensex fell 134 points to 52,601 and Nifty 50 index slipped 43 points to 15,771.
MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was 0.11 per cent lower, hovering near recent highs, though momentum has stalled as some countries re-impose lockdowns to contain the spread of the Delta virus variant.
Australian and Japanese shares took the brunt of early losses, with the ASX/200 index down 0.76 per cent and the Nikkei falling 0.91 per cent. The South Korean market was 0.39 per cent lower, and Chinese stocks were also down 1.06 per cent.
However, overnight, global equity markets reached new highs for the second straight session, boosted by US equities, while Treasury bond yields eased and the dollar was little changed as investors awaited jobs data that could sway Federal Reserve monetary policy.
Back home, foreign institutional investors continue to remain sellers in Indian equity markets as they sold shares worth Rs 1,659 crore on Monday while domestic institutional investors bought shares worth Rs 1,277 crore.
Seven of 11 sector gauges compiled by the National Stock Exchange were trading higher led by the Nifty FMCG index's 0.65 per cent gain. Nifty IT, Media, Pharma, Realty and Auto indices were also trading with a positive bias.
On the other hand, Nifty Bank, Financial Services, PSU Bank and Private bank indices were trading lower in the range of 0.2-0.4 per cent.
Mid- and small-cap shares were outperforming their larger peers as Nifty Midcap 100 index advanced 0.4 per cent and Nifty Smallcap 100 index rose 0.2 per cent.
Asian Paints was top gainer in the Nifty 50 basket of shares, the stock rose 1.3 per cent to Rs 3,021. Power Grid, Wipro, UPL, Larsen & Toubro, HCL Technologies, Indian Oil, Tata Motors, TCS, SBI Life, Divis Labs and Reliance Industries also rose between 0.7-1 per cent.
On the flipside, ONGC, ICICI Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank, Britannia Industries, JSW Steel, Maruti Suzuki, Mahindra & Mahindra, Hindalco, Bajaj Auto, tech Mahindra and HDFC Life were among the losers.
The overall market breadth was positive as 1,684 shares were advancing while 842 were declining on the BSE.