The Indian equity benchmarks fell sharply on Monday dragged by losses in HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank, HDFC and Axis Bank amid weak global cues. The Sensex fell as much as 549 points and Nifty 50 index briefly dropped below its important psychological level of 17,600.
As of 9:34 am, the Sensex was down 532 points at 59,114 and Nifty 50 index dropped 165 points to 17,594.
Asian shares slipped on Monday and the dollar extended its climb amid angst over global growth as most major banks keep raising rates, while a modest easing by China served only to highlight troubles in its property market.
Japan's Nikkei was down 0.45 per cent, Hong Kong's Hang Seng fell 0.51 per cent, Taiwan Weighted declined 0.87 per cent and South Korea's KOSPI dropped 0.8 per cent.
Back home, selling pressure was visible across the board as all the 15 sector gauges, barring the index of FMCG shares, were trading lower led by the Nifty Private Bank index's over 1.5 per cent fall. Nifty Realty, Consumer Durables, PSU Bank, Pharma, Metal, Financial Services, Auto and Bank indices also fell over 1 per cent each.
Mid- and small-cap shares were also facing selling pressure as Nifty Midcap 100 and Nifty Smallcap 100 indexes fell over 1 per cent each.
Apollo Hospital was top Nifty loser, the stock fell 3.2 per cent to Rs 4,004. Divi's Labs, Kotak Mahindra Bank, Bajaj Finserv, ONGC, Bajaj Finance, Hero MotoCorp, Tata Steel, Eicher Motors, UPL, JSW Steel and Ultratech Cement also fell between 2-2.8 per cent.
On the flipside, Britannia, ITC, Hindustan Unilever, Tata Consumer Products, NTPC and Adani Ports were among the notable gainers.
The overall market breadth was extremely negative as 2,100 shares were declining while 1,077 were advancing on the BSE.