(Reuters) - Indian shares opened lower on Tuesday as weak economic data from China fuelled fears that a rapid spread of COVID-19 cases in the world's second-largest economy could weigh on both its economy as well as global growth.
The Nifty 50 index was down 0.20% at 18,162.50 as of 9:20 a.m. IST, while the S&P BSE Sensex fell 0.16% to 61,073.67.
Recent data showed that China's factory activity contracted at a sharper pace in December – to a three-year low, according to official data – as COVID-19 infections slammed production lines and demand after Beijing eased stringent curbs.
However, Asian markets recovered from a weak open, with the MSCI Asia ex-Japan index last up 0.45%. [MKTS/GLOB]
Capping the losses in domestic equities are oil prices, which fell on global growth concerns after International Monetary Fund predicted a tougher 2023 for the global economy. [O/R]
Lower oil prices aid oil-importing countries like India, where crude constitutes the bulk of the country's import bill.
Most of the major sectoral indexes logged losses, at the open.
Thirty-six of Nifty 50 constituents declined, with heavyweight Reliance Industries, Hindustan Unilever, Sun Pharma and Britannia falling 0.5%.
Among individual stocks, Zomato lost over 3%, after its co-founder and chief technical officer Gunjan Patidar resigned.