The Indian equity benchmarks extended declines in afternoon trading on the back of losses in banking, metal and financial services shares. The Sensex fell as much as 685 points and Nifty 50 index dropped below its important psychological level of 15,000. ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank, HDFC, Infosys, State Bank of India and IndusInd Bank were among the top drags on the Sensex.
As of 2:34 pm, the Sensex was down 474 points to 50,372 and Nifty 50 index declined 158 points to 14,923.
Selling pressure was broad-based as all the 11 sector gauges compiled by the National Stock Exchange were trading lower led by the Nifty PSU Bank index's over 4 per cent fall. Nifty Bank, Financial Services, Pharma, Metal, Private Bank and Realty indexes also dropped over a per cent each.
Mid- and small-cap shares were also witnessing selling pressure as Nifty Midcap 100 and Nifty Smallcap 100 indexes dropped up to 2 per cent.
IndusInd Bank, Wipro, Tata Motors, Hindalco, UPL, Tata Steel, State Bank of India, ICICI Bank, JSW Steel, Power Grid, Bajaj Finserv, Shree Cements and Bharti Airtel also dropped between 2-4 per cent.
On the flipside, GAIL, ONGC, Maruti Suzuki, Hero MotoCorp, Kotak Mahindra Bank, UltraTech Cement and Nestle India were among the notable buyers.
The overall market breadth was extremely negative as 1,972 shares were declining while 955 were advancing on the BSE.