Mumbai: Equity benchmark Sensex declined nearly 70 points in opening trade on Wednesday, tracking losses in index majors Maruti, M&M and Kotak Mahindra Bank amid a positive trend in Asian markets.

The 30-share BSE benchmark fell 69.26 points to 58,067.10 in early trade. The broader NSE Nifty slipped 37.45 points to 17,308.

Among the Sensex constituents, Kotak Mahindra Bank, Mahindra & Mahindra, Maruti Suzuki, ITC and Nestle were among the laggards in early deals.

On the other hand, Infosys, HCL Technologies, Tech Mahindra, Hindustan Unilever, Bajaj Finserv, Bharti Airtel and Axis Bank were the major gainers.

In Asia, markets in Seoul, Shanghai, Tokyo and Hong Kong were trading higher.

The US markets had ended lower on Tuesday.

“Strong Asian market cues are expected to help key

benchmarks advance further in early trade Wednesday, despite a fall in the US markets in overnight trades.

“Nifty is likely to trade on the front foot amidst renewed optimism in the backdrop of the return of foreign investors in Indian equities, with FIIs buying equities to the tune of Rs 825 crore on Tuesday,” said Prashanth Tapse – Research Analyst, Senior VP (Research), Mehta Equities Ltd.

The BSE benchmark had ended 20.86 points or 0.04 per cent higher at 58,136.36 on Tuesday. The Nifty ended at 17,345.45, up 5.40 points or 0.03 per cent.

Meanwhile, international oil benchmark Brent crude dipped 0.30 per cent to USD 100.24 per barrel.

Foreign institutional investors remained net buyers in the capital markets as they bought shares worth Rs 825.18 crore on Tuesday, as per exchange data.

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