BENGALURU: Indian stocks opened lower on Monday, tracking weakness in global markets, as sentiment took a hit due to protests in major Chinese cities against the country's strict zero-COVID policy.
The benchmark S&P BSE Sensex opened down 0.23% to 62,150.97, while the NSE Nifty 50 index fell 0.19% to 18,477.35, before erasing all the opening losses.
Nifty MidCap 100 and Nifty SmallCap 100 outperformed their larger peers, rising 0.34% and 0.47%, respectively.
The slide followed a decline in Asian markets due to worries about COVID-19 management in the world's second-largest economy, after demonstrators and police clashed in Shanghai on Sunday. The MSCI Asia ex-Japan index shed 1.45%.
Fears about a COVID-led dent in China's economic growth also weighed on commodities, with Brent crude slipping to $83 per barrel.
Foreign institutional investors bought a net 3.69 billion rupees ($45.17 million) worth of equities on Friday, while domestic investors sold a net 2.96 billion rupees ($36.24 million) worth of shares, as per provisional NSE data.
Among individual shares, Paytm fell 5.2% after the Reserve Bank of India declined to allocate a payment aggregator licence to the company.
Shares of VA Tech Wabag rose 4.47%, the most since Nov. 15, after signing an agreement with Asian Development Bank towards raising 2 billion Indian rupees through unlisted non-convertible debentures. ($1 = 81.6850 Indian rupees) (Reporting by Bharath Rajeswaran in Bengaluru; editing by Uttaresh.V and Janane Venkatraman)