The Sensex was trading lower by 76 points, while the Nifty was down 16 points as investors remained tentative, after the US government closed down for the first time since 1996.
Bharat Heavy Electricals, which has been rallying for the last few days, continued to gain 3% as core sector data that was revealed on Monday showed signs of optimism. Other stocks that gained ground were Tata Steel, Mahindra and Mahindra, ACC and ONGC.
Banking stocks were in the limelight with notable gainers in trade being the private sector banking names including HDFC Bank, Indusind Bank and Axis Bank.
Auto stocks were trading flat ahead of the September sales data to be revealed later today. Among the gainers from the space were Maruti, Mahindra and Mahindra and Tata Motors.
Software stocks were trading higher despite gains in the rupee. TCS, Infosys and Wipro were all trading higher.
Oil marketing companies on the other hand were trading weak after a cut in the prices of petrol. BPCL, HPCL and Indian oil were all down in early trade.
Top Nifty losers in trade today were Sesa Goa, bharti Airtel, ACC and Kotak Mahindra. Metal stocks came in for some severe selling pressure in trade with Sesa Sterlite, Jindal Steel and Hindalco among the losers.
Meanwhile, markets in Asia were trading higher despite the US government shutdown. The Japanese Nikkei, the Jakarta Composite and the Taiwan Weighted were all up in trade.