The Indian equity benchmarks on Monday fell in opening deals as market participants awaited quarterly (Q4) earnings and macroeconomic data announcements. Asian shares slipped today ahead of a week packed with central bank meetings and U.S. inflation data.
Trends on the Nifty Futures on Singapore Exchange (SGX Nifty) also indicated a gap down start for the domestic indices.
IT majors Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) will kick off the earnings season today, while Infosys will announce the Q4 number later in this holiday-shortened week. On the macroeconomic front, investors will be eyeing the Index of Industrial Production (IIP) and CPI or retail inflation data scheduled to be released on April 12.
The 30-share BSE Sensex slipped 224 points or 0.38 per cent to 59,223 in early trade, while the broader NSE Nifty moved 43 points or 0.24 per cent down to 17,740.
However, mid- and small-cap shares were trading on a positive note as Nifty Midcap 100 moved 0.56 per cent up and small-cap shares jumped 0.38 per cent.
Six out of the 15 sector gauges -- compiled by the National Stock Exchange -- were trading in the red. Nifty FMCG and Nifty IT were underperforming the index by falling as much as 0.68 per cent and 0.90 per cent, respectively.
On the stock-specific front, HCL Tech was the top loser as the stock cracked 1.69 per cent to Rs 1,145.60. Infosys, SBI Life, Britannia and Hindustan Unilever were also among the laggards.
Although, the overall market breadth stood strong as 1,962 shares were advancing while 887 were declining on BSE.
On the 30-share BSE index, HCL Tech, Infosys, HUL, M&M, HDFC twins (HDFC and HDFC Bank), M&M and Axis Bank were among the top losers.
HDFC twins have erased almost all of their gains after last week's mega-merger announcement.
In contrast, NTPC, PowerGrid, SBI, Tata Steel, ITC and Sun Pharma were trading in the green.
Sensex had climbed 412 points or 0.70 per cent to close at 59,447 on Friday, while Nifty had moved 145 points or 0.82 per cent higher to settle at 17,784.