The S&P BSE Sensex and NSE Nifty 50 indexes extended declines in afternoon trading dragged down by weakness in banking, financial services and auto shares. The Sensex fell as much as 459 points and Nifty briefly dropped below its important psychological level of 11,300. Investor sentiment took a knock on Thursday after the country reported 69,652 new Coronavirus cases, marking the biggest single-day jump. Meanwhile, heightened volatility due to weekly expiry of index future and option contracts also added to the weakness in the equity markets, analysts said.
As of 2:20 pm, Sensex was down 395 points at 38,220 and Nifty fell 100 point to 11,308.
India's coronavirus count has risen to 28,36,926 with 69,652 new cases in the last 24 hours. The fresh cases marked the biggest one-day jump in the country so far, data from the Union Health Ministry showed.
Meanwhile, selling pressure was visible across the sector as eight of 11 sector gauges compiled by the National Stock Exchange were trading lower led by Nifty Bank index's 1.6 per cent fall. Auto, financial services, FMCG, energy, state-run banking and telecom shares were also facing selling pressure.
On the other hand, power and utilities shares were witnessing buying interest after government on Wednesday approved a proposal to give one-time relaxation in working capital limit norm for power distribution companies (discoms) under the Ujwal DISCOM Assurance Yojana (UDAY) to get loans as part of the Rs 90,000 crore liquidity infusion scheme.
Mid- and small-cap shares were outperforming their larger peers as the Nifty Midcap 100 and Nifty Smallcap 100 indexes rose over 0.5 per cent each.
ICICI Bank was top Nifty loser, the stock fell 3 per cent to Rs 363. Tata Motors, HDFC, Axis Bank, Mahindra & Mahindra, Bharti Airtel, HDFC Life, Wipro, Titan, IndusInd Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank and Larsen & Toubro also fell between 1.4-2.6 per cent.
On the flipside, NTPC was top Nifty gainer, the stock rose 6 per cent to Rs 100. ONGC, BPCL, Power Grid, Coal India, Indian Oil, Zee Entertainment and Hindalco were among the gainers.
The overall market breadth was positive as 1,500 shares were advancing while 1,172 were declining on the BSE.