The Indian equity benchmarks edged lower in opening deals on Thursday ahead of weekly expiry of index futures and option contracts owing to weakness in heavyweights like HDFC Bank, Reliance Industries, ICICI Bank and Asian Paints. Meanwhile, other Asian markets also dipped on Thursday as tight liquidity conditions in China curbed buying for now, though improving corporate earnings, expectations of large US stimulus and subsiding retail frenzy all supported risk sentiment. The Sensex fell as much as 207 points and Nifty 50 index briefly slipped below 14,750 mark.
As of 9:26 am, the Sensex was fell 141 points to 50,115 and Nifty 50 index declined 22 points to 14,768.
Six of 11 sector gauges compiled by the National Stock Exchange were trading lower led by the Nifty Private Bank index's over 1 per cent decline.
Nifty Bank, Financial Services, Pharma, IT and PSU Bank indexes were also trading with a negative bias.
On the other hand, Auto, FMCG, Metal and Media shares were witnessing buying interest.
Mid- and small-cap shares were outperforming their larger peers as Nifty Midcap 100 index rose 0.32 per cent and Nifty Smallcap 100 index advanced 0.45 per cent.
IndusInd Bank was top Nifty loser, the stock fell 2.2 per cent to Rs 1,025. Asian Paints, HDFC Bank, Tata Steel, ICICI Bank, Titan, Axis Bank, Tata Motors, HDFC Life, Grasim Industries, Kotak Mahindra Bank and Bharti Airtel also fell between 0.6-1.6 per cent.
On the flipside, Mahindra & Mahindra, ONGC, Hero MotoCorp, Hindalco, GAIL India, Bajaj Auto, Maruti Suzuki and Indian Oil were among the gainers.
The overall market breadth was positive as 1,455 shares were advancing while 727 were declining on the BSE.