The Sensex and Nifty edged lower on Tuesday, tracking Asian peers, as investors booked profits in recent outperformers such as index heavyweight HDFC Bank Ltd, while caution prevailed ahead of the federal budget, due later this week.
Asian stocks retreated from record highs after a selloff in Apple shares knocked Wall Street lower, with MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan down 0.5 percent.
"Earnings have been good so far. However, there's a bit of fear on what is coming up in the budget amidst concerns about fiscal deficit. And there's some profit-booking as well following the record levels," said Sunil Sharma, Chief Investment Officer at Sanctum Wealth Management.
Indian markets have been on a record-hitting run in recent weeks, boosted by a better-than-expected corporate earnings, government measures such as a cut in the goods and services tax for certain goods and a positive economic growth forecast.
Investors would also take cues from the federal budget, to be presented by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Thursday, as the government aims to woo back rural voters and small businesses ahead of state elections.
The broader NSE Nifty was down 0.7 percent at11,052.70 as of 0530 GMT, while the benchmark BSE index was 0.61 percent lower at 36,060.87.
Asian Paints Ltd and Eicher Motors Ltd were among the top losers on the NSE index, down over 2 percent each.
However, debt-laden Reliance Communications Ltd (RCom) surged nearly 15 percent after reporting a narrower third-quarter loss on Monday.
Shares of HDFC Bank Ltd dropped as much as 0.7 percent, on track to snap a 3-day gaining streak.
Meanwhile, air-conditioner manufacturer Amber Enterprises India Ltd had an impressive market debut, zooming as much as 37 percent to 1,175 rupees against the IPO price of 859 rupees