The Indian equity benchmarks extended losses after staging a gap down opening on Tuesday mirroring losses in global markets. Infosys, HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, HDFC, HDFC and ITC were among the top drags on the Sensex. The Sensex fell as much as 385 points and Nifty 50 index dropped below its important psychological level of 16,100. Asian shares fell Tuesday after a slump on Wall Street erased recent gains. U.S. futures and oil prices also declined.
Investors are on the lookout this week for updates on inflation and corporate profits, while renewed coronavirus outbreaks are adding to jitters.
Overnight, Wall Street capped a winning week with a sputtering finish Friday, as stocks waffled following a stronger-than-expected report on the U.S. jobs market.
The S&P 500 slipped 0.1 per cent after earlier flipping between a loss of 0.9 per cent and a gain of 0.4 per cent. Despite its weak finish, the benchmark index delivered just its third winning week in the last 14.
The surprisingly strong jobs report showed that employers are continuing to hire despite worries about a possible recession. However, the hotter the economy remains, the more likely the Federal Reserve is to continue raising interest rates sharply in its fight against inflation.
Back home, as of 12:26 pm, the Sensex was down 380 points at 54,015 and Nifty 50 index dropped 123 points to 16,093.
Selling pressure was broad-based as all the 15 sector gauges, barring the index of PSU Banking shares, were trading lower led by the Nifty Metal index's 1.6 per cent fall. Auto, Financial Services, Bank, FMCG, Media, IT, Pharma, Realty, Private Bank and Consumer Durable indices also fell between 0.5-1 per cent.
Mid- and small-cap shares were also facing selling pressure as Nifty Midcap 100 and Nifty Smallcap 100 indices fell 0.3 per cent each.
Among the individual shares, SpiceJet dropped as much as 2.3 per cent to hit an intraday low of Rs 38.20 on the BSE after its Managing Director Ajay Singh was booked by Gurugram police for duping a businessman worth crores of rupees on the pretext of allotting him company shares.
Meanwhile, SpiceJet on Tuesday said the complaint of alleged fraud filed by an individual against airline's Chairman was "completely bogus" and a defamation suit will be filed against the complainant.
Hindalco was top Nifty loser, the stock fell nearly 3 per cent to Rs 346. Eicher Motors, Bharat Petroleum, UPL, Britannia Industries, Infosys, Titan, Tata Steel, Tata Consumer Products, HDFC Life and Hindustan Unilever also fell between 1.3-2.6 per cent.
On the flipside, NTPC, Adani Ports, Axis Bank, Apollo Hospitals, Coal India, State Bank of India and Bharti Airtel were among the notable gainers.
The overall market breadth was neutral as 1,605 shares were declining while 1,533 were advancing on the BSE.