The Indian equity benchmarks fell for third session in a row on Thursday on the back of a broad-based as fears of COVID resurgence weighed on sentiment. The Sensex fell as much as 430 points and Nifty 50 index briefly dropped below 18,100 at the day's lowest level.
The Sensex fell 241 points to close at 60,826 and Nifty 50 index declined 72 points to settle at 18,127.
The broad decline in shares came after health minister on Wednesday said the pandemic was not over yet given the rising cases of COVID-19 in some countries.
The government told parliament that random sampling for Covid tests of incoming international travellers has started at airports.
On Dalal Street, selling pressure was broad-based as all the 11 sector gauges compiled by the National Stock Exchange ended lower led by the Nifty PSU Bank and Auto indices over 1 per cent fall. Nifty Bank, Realty, Media, Metal, Private Bank and FMCG indices also ended lower.
Mid- and small-cap shares also faced selling pressure as Nifty Midcap 100 index declined 0.9 per cent and Nifty Smallcap 100 index fell 1.6 per cent.
Among the individual shares, country's largest wine maker, Sula Vineyards, failed to enthuse investors on its stock market debut as it opened for trading at Rs 358 per share against its initial public offering (IPO) price of Rs 357 per share on the BSE. The stock opened at Rs 361 on the National Stock Exchange but went below IPO price later in the day.
Sula Vineyards stock price fell as much as 5.15 per cent to hit an intraday low of Rs 338.60.
UPL was the top Nifty loser, the stock fell 3.3 per cent to Rs 730. Mahindra & Mahindra, Eicher Motors, Bajaj Finserv, IndusInd Bank, Bharat Petroleum, Tata Steel, Tata Motors, Larsen & Toubro and Axis Bank also fell between 1.6-2.4 per cent.
On the flipside, Sun Pharma, SBI Life, Infosys, Asian Paints, Ultratech Cement, Kotak Mahindra Bank and Grasim Industries were among the notable gainers.
The overall market breadth was extremely negative as 2,792 shares ended lower while 765 ended higher on the BSE.