Consequently, the key indices of the Indian equity markets traded in the red during the mid-afternoon session, as heavy selling pressure was witnessed in information technology (IT), oil and gas, and automobile stocks.
The wider 51-scrip Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) edged down by 27.55 points or 0.34 per cent, at 8,083.05 points.
The barometer 30-scrip sensitive index (Sensex) of the BSE, which opened at 26,482.50 points, traded at 26,309.81 points (at 2.00 p.m.) — down 86.96 points or 0.33 per cent from the previous close at 26,396.77 points.
The Sensex has so far touched a high of 26,485.45 points and a low of 26,291.68 points during the intra-day trade.
The BSE market breadth was skewed in favour of the bears — with 1,545 declines and 953 advances.
Both the key Indian indices had ended on a lower note during the previous trade session on Monday. The barometer index had fallen by 238.98 points, or 0.90 per cent, while the NSE Nifty had slipped by 59.45 points or 0.73 per cent.
In terms of broader markets, the midcap index traded lower by 0.08 per cent, whereas the smallcap index was higher by 0.39 per cent.
Initially on Tuesday, the key indices opened on a flat-to-positive note, in sync with their Asian peers and a lower close of the US stock on Monday.
Investors were disappointed as macro-economic inflation data — Consumer Price Index (CPI) — which was released after market hours on Monday showed an upward trajectory.
Even the other major domestic macro-economic inflation data — Wholesale Price Index (WPI) — stroked volatility, as it showed a second straight month of rise.
Further, investors were seen cautious ahead of the US FOMC’s (Federal Open Market Committee) rate setting meet. A hike in the US interest rate is expected to lead FPIs (Foreign Portfolio Investors) away from emerging markets such as India.
Besides the US FOMC, the Bank of Japan (BoJ) and the Bank of England are slated to conduct their monetary policy meets this week.
Lower crude oil prices and a weak rupee also dented key indices.
“Nifty opened flat tracking a flat opening in USD/INR. Currently it is trading down with marginal losses due to profit booking,” Dhruv Desai, Director and Chief Operating Officer of Tradebulls told IANS.
“IT and banking sector stocks are trading down on profit booking at higher levels, while pharma sector stocks are trading with sideways to positive sentiments on some buying support.”
According to Nitasha Shankar, Senior Vice President for Research with YES Securities, active volumes have helped broader markets to outperform the headline indices.
“PSU bank and realty indices have rebounded following yesterday’s sell-off,” Shankar noted.