Indian shares were little changed on Wednesday, mirroring broader Asian markets where investors stayed away from risky assets amid signs of slowing global growth and an unsettled Sino-U.S. trade dispute, with losses in IT and financial stocks countering gains in consumer stocks.
Economic data published over the last 24 hours, including U.S. home sales and Japan's trade data, all pointed to a rough year ahead for the world economy, while sentiment was further dented by a report that the United States rejected an offer from China for preparatory trade talks.
The broader Nifty was down 0.02 percent at 10,920.8 as of 0508 GMT, while the benchmark Sensex was 0.08 percent lower at 36,415.9.
"People are buying quality stocks in a staggered manner instead of pumping in money, as the cards are now open for the upcoming elections," said A.K. Prabhakar, head of research at IDBI Capital in Mumbai.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeks a second term in national elections to be held by May, months after India's ruling party lost power in three states and dealt Modi his biggest defeat since he took office in 2014.
"Investors are wary of a mixed government, as reforms would be tougher to go through, and it could also lead to a loosening of monetary policy."
The current corporate results season would mean an otherwise lacklustre market would see selective gains, Prabhakar added.
IT giants Infosys Ltd and Tata Consultancy Services Ltd fell over 1 percent each, as the Indian rupee strengthened against the dollar.
Rival Wipro Ltd, however, rose 2 percent to its highest in nearly 19 years.
Private-sector lender Kotak Mahindra Bank Ltd fell 1.5 percent after four straight sessions of gains, and was among the biggest drags on the NSE index.
Ahead of their quarterly results, ITC Ltd and telecom tower company Bharti Infratel Ltd edged up, while Interglobe Aviation Ltd, which operates budget airline IndiGo, fell 2.2 percent.
Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd, up 3.4 percent, was the top gainer.
Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd, India's top drugmaker by market value, fell 1.7 percent. A report said the country's market regulator was probing the company over whistleblower charges.