Indian shares gave up early gains to end slightly lower on Tuesday, led by a fall in Bharti Airtel and information technology (IT) shares amid concerns over a sharp rise in domestic coronavirus cases.
The NSE Nifty 50 index fell 0.1% to 9,029.05, while the S&P BSE Sensex dropped 0.21% to 30,609.30. Both the indexes had risen over 1% early in the session.
"Markets didn't have much of a momentum to make a rally after opening higher," said Anand James, chief market strategist at Geojit Financial Services in Kochi, adding that the futures and options expiry later in the week also caused volatility.
"The risk appetite is still on the lower side. There are concerns with more relaxations on the back of surging virus cases," James said.
The number of coronavirus cases in India surged past 145,000 as of Tuesday, with the rate of growth of new infections showing little sign of slowing despite a strict weeks-long lockdown.
Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) fell 3.8%, Infosys Ltd 1.7%, and Bharti Airtel 5.7%. The stocks were top laggards in the bluechip Nifty-50 index.
Airtel shares fell on Tuesday after Bloomberg on Monday reported that Bharti Telecom was offering up to 150 million shares in Airtel at a discount.