Mumbai: Domestic equity benchmarks BSE Sensex and NSE Nifty started on a negative note on Wednesday as investors remained risk averse due to uncertainties over economic growth.

The 30-share index was trading 65.72 points, or 0.18 per cent, lower at 37,262.29. The broader Nifty dropped below the 11,000 level, falling 19 points, or 0.17 per cent, to 10,998.00 in morning trade.

In the previous session, the Sensex settled 74.48 points, or 0.20 per cent, lower at 37,328.01. The Nifty too ended 36.90 points, or 0.33 per cent, down at 11,017.

Top laggards in the Sensex pack included Tata Motors, Yes Bank, Vedanta, ONGC, Tata Steel and HCL Tech, which fell up to 3 per cent.

While, Hero MotoCorp, Infosys, M&M, TechM and Maruti rose up to 1 per cent.

The Nifty has lost almost a 1,000 in the past three months and market sentiments continue to remain weak in the near term, said Hemang Jani, Head - Advisory, Sharekhan by BNP Paribas.

"Domestic markets continue to reel under pressure of slowing growth and the street consensus is that the government may come up with a special package to boost the economy," he added.

Foreign portfolio investors bought shares worth a net of Rs 373.23 crore Tuesday, and domestic institutional investors too purchased shares worth Rs 296.41 crore, provisional data showed.

The rupee, meanwhile, appreciated 17 paise against its previous close to trade at 71.54 in early session.

Elsewhere in Asia, bourse in Hong Kong, Korea, Shanghai and Japan were trading on a mixed note in their respective late morning sessions.

Exchanges on Wall Street ended in the red on Tuesday.

Global oil benchmark Brent crude was trading 0.52 per cent higher at 60.34 per barrel.