Markets posted marginal losses in opening trades following subdued global cues as investor sentiment remained cautious due to debt concerns in Europe and US. The Nifty index was down 18 points, at 5,573 and the Sensex declined 41 points, at 18,521.
Markets in Hong Kong advanced 0.6% following gains in resource shares, while China's Shanghai Composite index traded flat. South Korea's Seoul Composite was down 0.7%.
Back in India markets will take cues from the developments in Europe and US, forthcoming earnings and the Reserve Bank of India policy. Nirmal Bang in the weekly note said that there is a general feeling on the street that although interest rates have peaked out, inflation is yet to cool down.
On the technical charts Nifty has strong support at 5,400 levels and after remaining sluggish for a few trading session, bias continues to remain positive and there may be a break out above 5,700 level, said PINC Research.
Foreign Institutional Investors bought shares worth a net Rs 73.03 crore and Domestic institutional investors (DIIs) sold shares worth Rs 39.14 crore as per provisional data from the stock exchanges.
BSE Realty shares was firm, the index was up 1%. Orbit Corporation was up 4%, Unitech advanced 1.8% and HDIL gained 1.5%.
BSE Bankex index was down 0.2%; ICICI Bank and Axis Bank were off 0.5%, and Kotak Mahindra Bank declined 0.3%.
From the broader markets, the midcap and the smallcap indices were off 0.3% each.
Top gainers on the Sensex were Hindalco Industries, up 2%, DLF advanced 1.4% and Tata Power was up 0.8%. Prominent losers were Cipla, down 2%, Mahindra & Mahindra declined 0.5% and ICICI Bank was off 0.5%.
In the broader market 1046 stocks advanced for 425 stocks which declined.