Moreover, disappointing US economic data signaled a weakening economic recovery, dampening the outlook for Asian exporters.
At 9.30 am IST, the Sensex was trading at 17217.75 lower 84.16 points or 0.49% and the Nifty was trading at 5211.05 lower 28.10 points or 0.54%.
US companies added fewer workers last month, a sign that the nation's job market recovery is losing steam. Private employment rose by 119,000 in April 2012, the smallest gain in seven months, following a 201,000 increase in March 2012. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index dropped less than 0.1 percent to 444.05 as of 8:48 a.m. in Hong Kong. Shanghai Composite was up 1.76 per cent, Hang Seng was down 0.50 per cent and Kospi was down 0.29 per cent.
Weak closing of the US stock markets on Wednesday may also weigh on domestic sentiment during morning trade. On the domestic front, a falling rupee and weak exports may continue to undermine sentiment today.
Most US stock markets ended lower on Wednesday as weak employment data signaled a cooling job market recovery and dampened sentiment. US companies added fewer workers last month, a sign that the nation's job market recovery is losing steam. Private employment rose by 119,000 in April 2012, the smallest gain in seven months, following a 201,000 increase in March 2012.
Moreover, US factory orders shrank at the fastest pace in three years, declining 1.5 per cent in March 2012 from the previous month, raising doubts over the strength of the nation's economic recovery.
Moreover, deepening manufacturing downturn in Europe and record high joblessness underscored fears that Europe's debt woes were worsening. Sluggish US corporate earnings reports also undermined sentiment. Energy and Financials were the major laggards, shedding 1.6 per cent and 1 per cent, respectively.
On Wednesday, the FII's stood as net buyers in both equity and debt. Gross equity purchased was Rs 2,113.90 crore and gross debt purchased stood at Rs 465.70 crore. Gross equity sold was Rs 1,573.20 crore and gross debt sold stood at Rs 230.30 crore. Net investment in equity and debt was Rs 540.70 crore and Rs 235.40 crore respectively.