Indian shares fell sharply on Wednesday with the Sensex falling nearly 250 points and the Nifty struggling around 9,050 levels. Weak Asian markets, following a 1 per cent fall on Wall Street, hurt the sentiment. Selling pressure was seen in auto, metals, banks, pharma and infra stocks. Among auto stocks, Mahindra & Mahindra fell 3 per cent, Tata Motors lost 2 per cent and Maruti Suzuki shed about 1 per cent. Analysts say the Nifty has strong support at the 9,000-9,050 zone and a breach below 9,000 could take the index below 8,800 levels. Asian stocks posted their biggest drop in two weeks as growing doubts about US President Donald Trump's economic growth agenda prompted investors to dump risky assets and to rush to safe havens such as gold and government bonds. Overnight, Wall Street ended Tuesday's session with the Dow Jones Industrial Average losing 1.14 per cent and the S&P 500 settling 1.24 per cent lower - their worst one-day performances since before Mr Trump's election victory in November.
MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan fell 1.3 per cent in early trade, its biggest intraday percentage fall since March 9. In the previous session, it hit its highest level since June 2015.
Back home, Bharti Airtel, Hindalco Industries, Mahindra & Mahindra, ICICI Bank and Dr Reddy's Laboratories were the top Nifty losers - falling between 1.5 per cent and 3 per cent. Some other losers on the Nifty index included Tata Steel, Tata Motors, BHEL, BPCL, Yes Bank and IndusInd Bank.
However, some buying in the IT stocks curbed downward movement in the broader indices.
At 9:35 am, only five stocks in the 51-scrip Nifty basket were trading in the positive zone. Power Grid Corp, HCL Tech, Axis Bank, Infosys and GAIL India were up to 1 per cent higher.
Among metals, Vedanta, JSW Steel and Hindalco Industries dropped from 2 per cent to 3.6 per cent, leading to a 1.7 per cent fall in the Nifty Metal sub-index.
Telecom stocks struggled with selling pressure, weighed by Bharti Airtel, which was down nearly 3 per cent. Tata Communications, Tata Teleservices Maharashtra, RCom, MTNL, Idea and Bharti Infratel were trading lower between 0.4 per cent and 2 per cent.
Avenue Supermart shares were in focus, a day after the owner of supermarket chain D-Mart made a strong listing on the exchanges. Shares in Avenue Supermart rose 2.6 to hit an intraday high of Rs 657.50 apiece on the Bombay Stock Exchange or BSE.
Analysts sounded positive on D-Mart. Avinnash Gorakssakar, head research at Joindre Capital Services, said D-Mart qualifies for premium rating going forward.