Equity benchmark indices were flat during early hours on Tuesday after the International Monetary Fund (IMF) trimmed its global growth forecasts to 2.9 per cent for 2019 and 3.3 per cent for 2020.
The Washington-based institution forecast in October a global growth rate of 3 per cent for 2019 and of 3.4 per cent for 2020. The revision was mostly due to a sharp slowdown in India and other emerging markets. At 10:15 am, the BSE S&P Sensex was down by 91 points to 41,438 while the Nifty 50 edged lower by 15 points at 12,209. Sectoral indices at the National Stock Exchange were mixed.
Among stocks, Asian Paints fell by 1.9 per cent at Rs 1,813.90 per share. UPL dropped by 1.7 per cent, Mahindra and Mahindra by 1.5 per cent, Tata Steel by 1.3 per cent and Hero MotoCorp by 1.1 per cent. However, Bharti InfraTel gained by 5.7 per cent to Rs 234.60 per cent. Zee Entertainment, Coal India, IndusInd Bank and ICICI Bank witnessed marginal gains.
Meanwhile, Asian shares got off to a cautious start lacking any lead from Wall Street and after the IMF revised outlook for world growth this year. Concerns also mounted about a new strain of pneumonia in China, sending a ripple of risk aversion through markets.
The mood change saw MSCI's broadest index of AsiaPacific shares outside Japan slip by 1 per cent after a steady start. Hong Kong, which suffered badly during the SARS outbreak, saw its index fall by 2 per cent. Japan's Nikkei lost by 0.8 per cent and Shanghai blue chips by 1.5 per cent with airlines under pressure.