Benchmark indices kicked off on a tepid note Wednesday as stocks opened mildly positive on fresh buying by foreign investors and recovery in rupee, but soon turned choppy on weak global cues. The 30-share Sensex recovered by 76.85 points, or 0.20 per cent, to 38,234.77 in opening trade. It, however, slipped 64.79 points, or 0.17 per cent, to 38,093.13 within the first hour of trading.
The gauge had lost 738.71 points in the previous five sessions. The broader NSE Nifty fell 26.15 points, or 0.23 per cent, to 11,494.15.
Top losers include Coal India, HUL, IndusInd Bank, ONGC, Vedanta, Bharti Airtel and Axis Bank. Major gainers were Sun Pharma, Wipro, M&M, Asian Paints, PowerGrid, ITC, RIL and Kotak Bank rising up to 2.15 per cent.
Sectoral indices, led by realty, metals and FMCG stocks fell up to 1 per cent. On the other hand, pharma and IT indices bucked weak market trend and were trading in the green. Brokers said fresh buying by foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) and recovery in the rupee supported the market at the outset.
However, sustained selling by domestic institutional investors (DIIs) and weak Asian cues on rising concerns over the global trade war weighed on investor sentiment here, they added.
FPIs bought shares worth a net of Rs 32.64 crore, while DIIs sold shares worth a net of Rs 21.41 crore on Tuesday, provisional data showed.
Elsewhere in Asia, Hong Kong's Hang Seng was down 0.66 per cent, Japan's Nikkei fell 0.37 per cent and Shanghai Composite Index shed by 0.92 per cent in early trade.
US stocks fell on Tuesday as investors looked ahead to a busy week of trade negotiations and economic data. The US Dow Jones Industrial Average, ended 0.05 per cent lower in Tuesday's trade.