Benchmark indices slipped on Tuesday ahead of a raft of blue-chip earnings, led by declines in technology stocks as investors braced for a likely big U.S. interest rate hike this week.

The NSE Nifty 50 index was down 0.51 per cent at 16,545.6, while the S&P BSE Sensex slipped 0.49 per cent to 55,493.31 in early trade.

Stocks in Asia were on tenterhooks as markets awaited a likely 75-basis-point Federal Reserve interest rate increase later this week amid surging inflation, while a profit warning from U.S. retailer Walmart dampened sentiment.

In Mumbai, private lender Axis Bank slid 1.9 per cent despite a beat on quarterly profit, as analysts flagged soft loan growth.

The Nifty IT index declined the most among sub-indexes, slipping up to 1.4 per cent.

Helping cut losses on the Nifty 50 was a 3.7 per cent rise in non-bank lender Bajaj Finserv on plans to issue bonus shares and split its stock.

Nifty 50 components Bajaj Auto, Asian Paints and Larsen & Toubro will report their results later in the day.

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