MUMBAI: Domestic equity gauges Sensex and Nifty were marginally down in opening deals on Friday, as participants remained cautious tracking other Asian markets amid renewed fears of a Russian invasion of Ukraine.
The BSE Sensex was trading 70.40 points or 0.12 per cent lower at 57,821.61 and the NSE Nifty was down 15.95 points or 0.09 per cent at 17,288.65. The Sensex was dragged lower by mainly IT shares with Wipro, Tech Mahindra, Infosys and HCL Tech dropping as much as 1.23 per cent.
On the index, 22 shares were trading in the negative zone. Analysts said that Indian markets opened flat in line with range-bound muted Asian markets and sharply lower US markets on Thursday.
Deepak Jasani, Head of Retail Research, HDFC Securities, said, "US stocks ended sharply lower on Thursday, as investors dealt with renewed fears of a Russian invasion of Ukraine as the US and its allies accused Moscow of continuing to build up troop levels."
Investors hastened a move late in the session towards defensive sectors and safe havens such as US bonds and gold, as geopolitical tensions between Washington and Russia over Ukraine flared, he added. Other Asian markets witnessed selloffs as investors weighed renewed US warnings of an imminent Russian attack on Ukraine.
Crude oil benchmark Brent Futures dropped 0.71 per cent to trade at USD 92.31 per barrel. Foreign institutional investors offloaded shares worth Rs 1,242.10 crore in the Indian capital markets on Thursday, exchange data showed.