Mumbai, Aug 10 (IANS) Profit booking, along with negative global cues and caution over upcoming quarterly results, dragged the Indian equity markets lower during the late-afternoon trade session on Wednesday.

Heavy selling pressure was witnessed in automobile, banking and healthcare stocks.

The wider 51-scrip Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) edged down by 96.85 points or 1.12 per cent to 8,581.40 points.

The barometer 30-scrip sensitive index (Sensex) of the BSE, which opened at 28,133.36 points, traded at 27,792.39 points (at 2.15 p.m.) -- down 292.77 points or 1.04 per cent from the previous close at 28,082.16 points.

The Sensex has so far touched a high of 28,143.28 points and a low of 27,780.99 points during the intra-day trade.

The BSE market breadth was skewed in favour of the bears -- with 1,844 declines and 738 advances.

On Tuesday, the benchmark indices had closed in the red due to profit booking and disappointment over the Reserve Bank of India's (RBI) decision to maintain its key lending rates during the monetary policy review.

The barometer index had slipped by 97.41 points or 0.35 per cent, while the Nifty fell by 33.10 points or 0.38 per cent.

"After a flat-to-positive opening on the back of some value buying, the equity markets fell due to profit booking in the absence of any fresh positive cues," Anand James, Chief Market Strategist at Geojit BNP Paribas Financial Services, told IANS.

Dhruv Desai, Director and Chief Operating Officer of Tradebulls, cited that most banking and pharma stocks traded down, while IT and auto stocks also faced resistance at higher levels.

"Aviation stocks traded with sideways to firm sentiments on higher crude oil prices," Desai said.

According to Nitasha Shankar, Senior Vice President for Research with YES Securities, Indian markets continued to trade with weakness and underperformed its global peers.

"Midcap and smallcap indices continued with their underperformance for second day running as profit booking is seen across the board," Shankar noted.

"All sectoral indices traded in the red."