Domestic equity benchmarks BSE Sensex and NSE Nifty started on a choppy note Monday tracking weak cues from global markets as rising rift between the US and China kept investors on edge. The 30-share index was trading 23.96 points, or 0.06 per cent, lower at 37,439.03. The broader NSE Nifty was also trading 7.85 points, or 0.07 per cent, down at 11,271.05.
In the previous session on Friday, the BSE bourse closed 95.92 points, or 0.26 per cent, down at 37,462.99; and the Nifty shed 22.90 points, or 0.20 per cent, to settle at 11,278.90.
Top losers in the Sensex pack include L&T, Tata Steel, M&M, NTPC, Sun Pharma, HDFC twins, Kotak Bank, Yes Bank and Sun Pharma, shedding up to 1.98 per cent.
On the other hand, SBI, TCS, HUL, ONGC, Bajaj Finance, Vedanta, Hero MotoCorp, HCL Tech, Bharti Airtel, Maruti, ITC and RIL, were among the top gainers, rising up to 1.35 per cent.
Elsewhere in Asia, bourses were trading significantly lower after the near collapse of trade talks with China last week.
Trump on Friday imposed a hefty duty on import of Chinese products from 10 per cent to 25 per cent worth more than USD 200 billion and asking for a similar increase on tariff on the rest of the Chinese import of over USD 300 billion.
Sustained foreign fund outflow too weighed on investor sentiment here, traders said.
Foreign institutional investors (FIIs) sold equity worth Rs 1,245.14 crore on Friday, while domestic institutional investors (DIIs) purchased shares to the tune of Rs 1,057.42 crore, provisional data available with stock exchanges showed.
According to Hemang Jani, Head - Advisory, Sharekhan by BNP Paribas, as we move closer towards the election results day (May 23), one can expect the volatility in the market to only increase further. 2019 general election continues to be an important near term event for the market.
Meanwhile, on the currency front, the rupee depreciated 19 paise to 70.11 against the US dollar.
Brent crude futures, the global oil benchmark, were trading 0.30 per cent higher at USD 70.83 per barrel.