Mumbai: Indian stock markets may continue to witness bouts of volatility on Tuesday. Asian equity markets were a tad lower in early deals today as investors refrained from placing major bets before 15 December – the deadline for the next round of US tariffs on Chinese imports to come into effect.

A Chinese commerce ministry official on Monday said Beijing hopes to make a trade deal with Washington as soon as possible before new US tariffs kick in this weekend.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was down just 0.04% as the Asian trading day began on Tuesday. Australian shares were also 0.04% lower, while Japan's Nikkei 225 lost 0.23%.

Tepid Asian trade followed weakness on the Wall Street overnight. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.38% to 27,909.6, the S&P 500 lost 0.32% to 3,135.96 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 0.4% to 8,621.83.

Investors also kept an eye on the US Federal Reserve, which is expected to keep rates unchanged at its two-day policy meeting, which ends Wednesday. With rates likely to stay put, analysts say investors will be closely watching policymakers' forecasts for future US economic growth.

Back home, Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) has sent show- cause notices to at least 10 entities and individuals in the case of unpublished financial results finding their way to private WhatsApp groups, according to a Mint report. The markets regulator, which completed its probe into the high-profile case earlier this year, has found the entities and individuals to whom the notices were sent last month guilty of releasing unpublished price-sensitive information on WhatsApp groups that have analysts and journalists as members.

Coffee Day Group’s proposed sale of its Global Village Technology Park to private equity firm Blackstone Group Llp has hit a hurdle, with the debt-laden group’s largest creditor, Yes Bank, signalling its reluctance to give approval to the 2,800 crore deal. The sale of the 90-acre tech park on the outskirts of Bengaluru is to be used for repaying the debts of Cafe Coffee Day’s (CCD) associate firms and their promoters. Founder V.G. Siddhartha committed suicide in July.

India’s biggest lender State Bank of India, SBI, on Monday announced a cut in its one-year MCLR rate or marginal cost of funds-based lending rate by 10 bps, effective 10 December. With this cut, home, car and other retail loans of SBI linked to MCLR will get cheaper. After the latest cut, SBI's one-year MCLR comes down to 7.90% per annum from 8.00% per annum. This is the eighth consecutive cut in MCLR by SBI this fiscal.

On Tuesday, the US two-year yield, watched as a sign of market expectations of Fed fund rates, was at 1.6191%, down from its close of 1.627% on Monday. The 10-year Treasury yield was at 1.8208% from a US close of 1.831% on Monday.

Following the Fed, investors are likely to scrutinise the first policy meeting led by new European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde on Thursday for clues on where she will take the bank.

While expectations of a Conservative Party victory in Thursday's UK election have powered a rally in the pound, options markets indicate worries of a post-election retreat.

Sterling, which hit its highest level against the dollar since April on Monday, inched up 0.02% to buy $1.3145. The dollar rose 0.04% against the yen to 108.59 and the euro was up 0.03% at $1.1065. The dollar index, which tracks the US currency against a basket of six major rivals, was at 97.644.

Worries over trade pushed oil prices lower. Data released on Sunday showed that Chinese exports declined for a fourth straight month, underscoring the impact of the trade war between the US and China, which is in its 17th month. US West Texas Intermediate crude dipped 0.25% to $58.87 a barrel.

Gold was down less than 0.1% on the spot market, fetching $1,460.64 per ounce.

(Reuters contributed to the story)