The Indian equity benchmark indices opened lower on Tuesday following losses in global peers amid concerns over a surge in Delta variant of the coronavirus in Asian countries and fears of faltering economic recovery.
At 9:15 am, the Sensex opened 0.23 percent, or 120.52 points lower at 52,432.88, while the Nifty50 index opened at 15,703.95, down 48.45 points, or 0.31 percent. Broader markets, the midcap and smallcap indices traded flat.
All the sectoral indices except Nifty Realty and pharma opened in the red. Financial and auto stocks slipped over 2 percent.
HDFC Bank, ONGC, HCL Tech, Bharti Airtel, Hindalco led the losses among Nifty50 constituents while Shree Cement, Power Gird, Asian Paints, and Wipro were the top index gainers.
Globally, Asian stocks were down early Tuesday as growing fears the spreading Delta variant of the coronavirus would harm the global economic recovery sent riskier assets, including oil, skidding sharply.
MSCI's gauge of Asia Pacific stocks outside Japan fell as much as 0.29 percent. Stocks on Wall Street fell as much as 2 percent Monday, with the Dow posting its worst day in nine months as COVID-19 deaths increased in the United States.
Oil prices plunged more than 6 percent, driven down both by worries about future demand and by an OPEC+ agreement to increase supply.
Gold prices rose on Tuesday, supported by a drop in US bond yields and concerns over a relentless surge in Delta variant infections, although a stronger dollar kept bullion's gains in check.