The domestic equity markets traded in the negative in a volatile session after a positive opening, ahead of the release of key macroeconomic data on Monday. At 2:02 pm, the S&P BSE Sensex traded at 34,918.08, down 240.47 points or 0.68 per cent and the Nifty index of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) was at 10,514.95, with a loss of 70.25 points or 0.66 per cent. Forty out of 50 Nifty stocks traded in the negative. Losing between 6.34 per cent and 3.04 per cent, the top five Nifty losers were Hindustan Petroleum, Tata Motors, Hindalco, Indian Oil, and Hero MotoCorp.
All the sectoral indices traded with losses led by banks, auto and metal stocks. IT stocks bucked the negative trend as the Nifty IT index (up 1.15 per cent) was the only sectoral gainer amid a weaker rupee.
Several factors, including the uncertainty around liquidity of non-banking financial companies, upcoming elections and ongoing corporate earnings, are bound to keep the market volatile, Siddharth Sedani, head of equity advisory at brokerage firm Anand Rathi, was quoted as saying in a report by news agency Reuters.
India VIX - which gauges volatility in stock market - was up 8.24 per cent, indicating high volatility in the Street.
October retail inflation and factory output data for September will be released later in the day.
On Friday, foreign portfolio investors purchased net equites worth Rs 614.14 crore, showed provisional NSE data. In the last session, the Sensex had closed at 35,158.55, down 79.13 points or 0.22 per cent and the Nifty had settled at 10,585.20 with a loss of 13.20 points or 0.12.
Meanwhile, Asian shares fell as soft Chinese economic data and falling oil prices rekindled anxiety about the outlook for world growth, reported news agency Reuters.
MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was down 0.17 per cent in early trade. Australian shares were down 0.08 per cent, while Japan's Nikkei stock index eased 0.12 per cent.
In the commodities market, oil prices rose by about one per cent after top exporter Saudi Arabia announced a cut in supply for December, seen as a measure to halt a market slump that had seen crude decline by 20 per cent since early October. (With agencies inputs)