Mumbai, March 22 (IANS) Caution over a potential US rate hike, coupled with negative Chinese indices and profit booking, dragged the Indian equity markets lower during the late-afternoon trade session on Tuesday.
Consequently, the barometer 30-scrip sensitive index (Sensex) of the BSE edged lower by 64 points or 0.25 percent.
Similarly, the wider 50-scrip Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) traded in the red. It dwindled by 22 points, or 0.28 percent, at 7,682.35 points.
The Sensex, which opened at 25,331.01 points, traded at 25,221.41 points (2.45 p.m.) — down 63.96 points or 0.25 percent from the previous day’s close at 25,285.37 points.
So far during the intra-day trade, the Sensex touched a high of 25,331.01 points and a low of 25,083.70 points.
The BSE market breadth slightly favoured the bears — with 1,291 declines and 1,221 advances.
According to market analysts, caution prevailed on the heightened chances of a US rate hike next month.
Besides, investors were seen hesitant to chase prices higher ahead of the derivatives expiry and the financial year end.
In addition, negative Chinese indices, coupled with a slightly weaker rupee, dampened sentiments.
“Markets are trading on a flat note on the back of mixed Asian cues,” Vaibhav Agarwal, vice president and research head at Angel Broking told IANS.
“Markets have also seen a strong run up and some profit booking is likely. We expect the markets to remain under pressure as this is a curtailed week and take some gains off the table ahead of the long weekend.”