Among the Nifty stocks that lost ground were Sun Pharma on reports that it will pay $550 m to Pfizer on Protonix settlement in 2013. Apollo Tyres also fell 9 per cent after reports that the company will acquire Cooper Tire in all-cash deal for Rs 14,500 crore.
MMTC fell 10 per cent in trade after the government fixed the floor price for the company's share sale at Rs 60 per share.
Titan Industries which had crashed in the last few trading sessions, recovered lost ground. Among the gainers from the Nifty in early trade were Dr Reddy's Labs, Infosys Technologies, Lupin Labs and HCL Tech.
PSU banks came in for some heavy drubbing with notable losers from the space being Punjab National Bank, Bank of Baroda, Canara Bank and Union Bank.
Real Estate stocks also drifted lower in early trade with DLF, Parsvnath and Anant Raj among the losers.
Indraprastha Gas was marginally up after the company said it will buy 50 percent in Central UP Gas for Rs 69 crore.
Meanwhile, most of the Asian markets were down more then 1 per cent, with the Nikkei losing more then 4 per cent and the Shanghai Composite dropping by 3 per cent.