A puff of black smoke emerged from a chimney atop the Sistine Chapel shortly on Tuesday, signalling to the world that no pope had been elected during the first day of the conclave, dpa reported.
Smoke emerged shortly after 7:40 pm before the large crowd assembled in Saint Peter's Square to watch the spectacle. Giant screens were installed to allow them to have a better view of the small chimney high above them.
The smoke is produced by the burning of the cardinals' ballots, with chemicals added to alter its colour. Whereas black means an inconclusive vote, white smoke is used when a new leader for the world's 1.2 billion Catholics has been elected.
The Catholic Church's 115 cardinal electors were due to resume voting on Wednesday, with two rounds in the morning followed by another two in the afternoon. The winning candidate needs to secure a two-thirds majority, composed of at least 77 votes.
Most Vatican experts expect the process to be completed by week's end.