Stock markets started the new week on a negative note amid uncertainty among investors due to the ongoing parliamentary elections in India.

The Nifty 50 index declined, losing 61 points at 21,983, while the Sensex slid 303 points to 72,365 at the opening.

Among the Nifty 50 stocks, 38 opened lower, while only 11 gained during the opening session. Notably, Cipla, Sun Pharma, Britannia, HDFC Life, and ITC were among the top gainers, whereas Tata Motors, Hero MotoCorp, and Eicher Motors featured in the top losers list.

"We are at the midpoint of the Elections Season 2024, with the 4th phase of Elections taking place today. For the next 23 days, till Wednesday, June 4th afternoon/evening, we will not have a clear idea of the Outcome of Elections 2024. Expect markets to continue to be jittery for the coming three weeks" said Ajay Bagga, Banking and Market Expert.

The Quarter four earnings announcements to continue this week also, which began in the second week of April. Today, DLF, Zomato, and Jindal Steel are the major companies scheduled to announce their financial results.

"Investors are closely monitoring US officials' comments regarding interest rates, with the April inflation print expected to be a significant catalyst for trading. Additionally, commodities such as gold and oil are in focus amidst geopolitical developments" said Varun Aggarwal, MD, Profit Idea.

He added "Further analysis indicates that the short-term trend remains negative, with key support levels at 21,900 - 21,850. There's a possibility of a minor upside bounce in the short term, but the market could eventually break down the present support levels and slide further".

Internationally, Asian stocks opened lower due to signs of slack in China and news of the US planning to raise tariffs on some Chinese goods. Concerns over inflation and geopolitical tensions, including the Gaza offensive and developments in the Russia-Ukraine conflict, are impacting market sentiment.

On Friday, both benchmark indices closed higher, with the Sensex gaining 260.30 points to reach 72,664.47, and the Nifty 50 settling 97.70 points higher at 22,055.20.Indian markets are witnessing aggressive selling by Foreign Portfolio Investors (FPIs) amid ongoing elections, investors have pulled out a staggering amount of ₹17,082 crore in May as per data by National Securities Depository Limited.

The selling pressure in the market extends further with Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs) unloading a much higher sum of ₹24,975 crore in the cash market.

This divergence in institutional activity has become notably prominent this month, with FIIs consistently selling stocks and Domestic Institutional Investors (DIIs) avidly buying them up.

Cumulatively, FIIs have sold stocks worth ₹24,975 crore, while DIIs have purchased stocks amounting to ₹19,410 crore throughout the month.