BENGALURU (Reuters) - Indian shares were stuck in a tight range on Tuesday as gains in some energy and consumer goods stocks countered losses in auto scrips, while increasing worries China Evergrande could default on its massive debt pile kept markets under pressure globally.
The blue-chip NSE Nifty 50 index eased 0.03% to 17,391.55 by 0500 GMT, and the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex slipped 0.05% to 58,462.56.
On Monday, Indian shares dropped 1% as metal stocks plunged more than 6% and fears of a default by property giant China Evergrande rattled world equity markets. On Tuesday, metal stocks were trading 0.2% higher.
Investors are now awaiting cues on the U.S. monetary policy from a Federal Reserve meeting starting later in the day. The central bank is likely to lay the groundwork for an eventual tapering of its bond buying programme.
Auto stocks fell to their lowest in more than a week, with carmaker Maruti Suzuki India shedding 2.6%.
Banks dropped 1% in their second straight sessions of falls, with Central Bank Ltd declining 2.3%.
State-owned explorer Oil and Natural Gas Corp jumped more than 3% to be the top gainer on the Nifty 50 index, while Hindustan Unilever advanced 1.7% to help the consumer goods sub-index advance 0.5%.
Real estate stocks climbed after two straight sessions of losses and were the best performing sector, with Godrej Properties advancing more than 5% to lead the gains.
Signs of a rebound in sales for home builders and the easing of COVID-19 restrictions lifted sentiment in the sector, said Ajit Mishra, vice president of research at Religare Broking.
In broader Asia, markets were jittery amid fears of a China Evergrande default rippling through the Chinese property market, while trading was thin due to holidays in China, Taiwan and South Korea. [MKTS/GLOB]
Reporting by Soumyajit Saha in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu