Mumbai: Hours ahead of the last scheduled monetary policy review before the unveiling of the national budget for the next fiscal, Indian equities appeared cautious, resulting in key Indices The 30-share sensitive index (Sensx) of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) started the day at 24,868.21 points, against the previous day's close at 24824.83 points. Soon after, it was quoting at 24,873.61 points, up 48.78 points or 0.20 percent.
At the National Stock Exchange (NSE), the 50-share Nifty was quoting just a tad higher at 7,556.25 points, against the previous day's close at 7,555.95 points, with a gain of 0.30 points, which was negligible in percentage terms. In Asian markets, Chinese stocks were up but others were struggling for direction. Monday's trading session in India was also marked by sentiments being subdued, both due to the anxiety over the upcoming monetary policy update, as also weak global cues. While the Sensex fell 45.86 points or 0.18 percent, the Nifty fell 8 points or 0.10 percent. On Monday, Nifty, at one point, had breached the 7,600-point mark for the first time since January 14, while the sensex had topped 25,002.32 points during intra-day trade -- both indices having opened in the green. "The US markets closed roughly flat after early weakness. The weakness came amid a sharp price drop of crude oil as well as the release of some disappointing Chinese manufacturing data,"said Angel Broking in an analysis ahead of the opening bell on Tuesday. Crude oil prices for next month's deliveries fell by $2 to a barrel to $31.26. The drop was after the Chinese National Bureau of Statistics reported that the country's manufacturing sector had contracted at a faster rate in January. In the European markets, trading in the first session of this month ended the red. "After the rally at the end of the prior trading week, stocks gave up early gains on Monday due to falling crude oil prices and renewed concerns over China. Indian shares also ended a lackluster session in the red, tracking mixed global markets," Angel Broking added.