The benchmark indices were trading in the red after four straight sessions of gains amid weak global cues.
The BSE benchmark, the Sensex was trading 77.47 points or 0.37% lower at 20,645.50 points, while the NSE's Nifty was trading 31.55 points or 0.51% lower at 6,121.20 points at 10.30am IST. The HSBC's preliminary reading of its Chinese purchashing managers' index (PMI) for February stood at 48.3, declining from 49.5 recorded in January.
A key index of Chinese manufacturing contracted further in February to hit its lowest level in seven months, HSBC said Thursday, in a sign of diminishing strength in the world’s second-largest economy.
The British banking giant’s preliminary reading for its purchasing managers’ index (PMI) for China, which tracks manufacturing activity in factories and workshops, fell to 48.3 this month.
That marked a further tumble from the final reading of 49.5 in January, when the figure showed contraction for the first time in six months.
Most Asian indices were trading lower. The Hang Seng (-1.11%), KOSPI (-0.54%), Jakarta Composite (-0.23%) and Taiwan Taiex (-0.58%) were trading in the red.
Back home, among individual stocks, Tata Steel (-2.15%), Tata Power (-1.74%) and SBI (-1.39%) were among the major losers on the 30-share Sensex.
Among sectoral indices, the BSE Bankex (-1.16%), BSE Metal (-0.81%) and BSE Power (-0.44%) were the major losers.
Analysts feel markets are likely to stay in the negative territory on Wednesday. "Indian markets could trade in a range with negative bias throughout the session. Immediate support for Nifty is at 6100, while stiff resistance is at 6180 level," HDFC Securities said in a morning note.