The Indian equity benchmarks extended losses led by losses in HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, HDFC, Bharti Airtel and HCL Technologies. The Sensex fell as much as 510 points to hit an intraday low of 52,043.16 and Nifty 50 index dropped below its important psychological level of 15,600. Weak global markets were adding to the nervous sentiment on the Dalal Street. Asian stocks widened their losses as investor sentiment dampened further amid growing fears the spreading Delta variant of the coronavirus would harm the global economic recovery, sending riskier assets skidding sharply.
As of 11:21 am, Sensex was down 446 points or 0.85 per cent at 52,107 and Nifty 50 index tumbled 157 points or 1 per cent to 15,595.
Selling pressure was broad-based as all the 11 sector gauges compiled by the National Stock Exchange were trading lower led by the Nifty Realty index's 3 per cent fall. Nifty Bank, Financial Services, Metal, Media, Pharma, PSU Bank and Private Bank indices also fell between 1.5-2.8 per cent.
Mid- and small-cap shares were also facing intense selling pressure as Nifty Midcap 100 index fell 2 per cent and Nifty Smallcap 100 index tumbled 2.2 per cent.
Shares of Adani Group companies were down between 0.4 per cent and 5 per cent on news that securities regulator and customs authorities were investigating some of the group companies for non-compliance of rules.
Shares of IT services company HCL Technologies fell 2.1 per cent after its quarterly revenues missed analysts' expectations, while cement company ACC rose as much as 7 per cent over a two-fold jump in consolidated net profit for the second quarter ended June 2021.
UPL was top Nifty loser, the stock fell 3.3 per cent to Rs 806. Hindalco, JSW Steel, Tata Steel, Mahindra & Mahindra, Bharti Airtel, IndusInd Bank, ONGC, Tata Consumer Products and ICICI Bank also fell 2-3 per cent.
On the flipside, UltraTech Cement, Hindustan Unilever, Asian Paints, Bajaj Auto, Infosys, Shree Cement, Divis Labs and Power Grid were among the notable gainers.
The overall market breadth was extremely negative as 2,234 shares were declining while 824 were advancing on the BSE.