The Sensex and Nifty were trading lower on Tuesday amid Asian markets falling after Korea fired a ballistic missile that flew over Japan before plunging into the northern Pacific Ocean.
At 1318 hours, the Sensex was trading 293 points or 0.92 percent lower at 31,457 level
The Nifty too fell 92 points or 0.93 percent to 9820 level.
"Early negativity from Asian markets over North Korea followed through to the domestic market," said Anand James, chief market strategist with Geojit Financial Services.
"Investors are also booking profits after Nifty tested 9,900 levels on Monday while there is some volatility ahead of the expiry," he added. The NTPC stock fell up to 4 percent in early trade on reports that the government will sell 5 per cent stake through a stock market auction.
The government, which owns nearly 70 per cent of NTPC, said it has set a floor price of Rs 168 apiece for the auction on Tuesday and Wednesday.
NTPC was the top loser on the BSE and Sensex.
Future Consumer Ltd (2.62 percent), Tata Communications (2.35 percent) and Jet Airways (2.28 percent) were the other prominent losers on the BSE.
Top gainers on the Sensex were Tata Motors (0.49 percent), ICICI Bank (0.22 percent) and Lupin (0.33 percent).
Market breadth was negative with 1336 stocks falling against 752 advancing on the BSE.
The Asian region was rattled by an aggressive test-flight over Japan that sends a clear message of defiance as Washington and Seoul conduct war games nearby.
Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 fell 0.6 percent to 19,331.50, while Australia's S&P/ASX 200 dipped nearly 1.0 percent to 5,653.60 in early trading. South Korea's Kospi lost 1.4 percent to 2,337.88. Hong Kong's Hang Seng shed 0.2 percent to 27,802.15, while the Shanghai Composite inched up nearly 0.2 percent to 3,367.99.
WALL STREET: The Standard & Poor's 500 index picked up 1.19 points, or less than 0.1 percent, to 2,444.24. The Dow Jones industrial average dipped 5.27 points to 21,808.40. The Nasdaq composite rose 17.37 points, or 0.3 percent, to 6,283.02. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks gained 4.78 points, or 0.3 percent, to 1,382.23. Most of the stocks on the New York Stock Exchange fell.