Profit booking, coupled with negative Chinese indices and weak crude oil prices, depressed the Indian equity markets on Wednesday.
Consequently, the key indices of the Indian equity markets traded in the red during the mid-afternoon trade session.
The wider 50-scrip Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) slipped by 23.20 points, or 0.29 percent, at 7,891.50 points.
The barometer 30-scrip sensitive index (Sensex) of the BSE, which opened at 25,942.34 points, traded at 25,766.79 points (at 1.00 p.m.) -- down 49.57 points or 0.19 percent from the previous close at 25,816.36 points.
The Sensex has so far touched a high of 25,956.34 points and a low of 25,716.81 points during the intra-day trade.
In contrast, the BSE market breadth was tilted in favour of bulls -- with 1,222 advances and 1,161 declines.
Both the key Indian indices had ended on a higher note during the previous trade session on Monday. The Indian equity markets were closed on Tuesday on account of Mahavir Jayanti.
On Monday, the barometer index had gained 189.61 points or 0.74 percent to end at 25,816.36 points. Similarly, the NSE Nifty had risen by 64.25 points or 0.82 percent, to close at 7,914.70 points.
Initially on Wednesday, the key indices of the Indian equity markets opened on a firm note in-sync with positive Japanese indices and expectations of healthy quarterly results.
However, profit booking after five consecutive days of gains depressed the equity markets.
Besides, a steep in decline in the Chinese stocks and weak crude oil prices dented sentiments.
Further, caution prevailed a day ahead of the European Central Bank's (ECB) monetary policy meeting.
"Profit bookings after several sessions of gains dented sentiments. The sudden fall in the Chinese indices and a dip in crude oil prices too dented sentiments," Anand James, chief market strategist, Geojit BNP Paribas Financial Services, said.
"Volatility prevailed despite positive macros, potential for a rate cut and expectations of a healthy quarterly results."