The Indian equity benchmarks extended losses in mid-morning deals on the back of a broad-based selling pressure on account of profit booking. The Sensex fell as much as 722 points at the day's lowest level and Nifty 50 index dropped below its important psychological level of 15,500. Reliance Industries, ICICI Bank, State Bank of India, HDFC and HDFC Bank were top drags on the Sensex.
As of 11:12 am, the Sensex was down 521 points at 51,802 and Nifty 50 index tumbled 182 points to 15,509.
Selling pressure was broad-based as all the 11 sector gauges compiled by the National Stock Exchange were trading lower led by the Nifty Metal index's over 4 per cent fall. PSU Bank, Media, Bank, Financial Services, FMCG and Auto indices also fell between 1-4 per cent.
Mid- and small-cap shares were also facing intense selling pressure as Nifty Midcap 100 index declined 3 per cent and Nifty Smallcap 100 index crashed 3.4 per cent.
India VIX index, the gauge of expected volatility in the market spiked 7 per cent.
UPL was top Nifty gainer, the stock rose nearly 5 per cent to Rs 797. JSW Steel, Tata Steel, Tata Motors, ONGC, Coal India, State Bank of India, Power Grid, NTPC, Mahindra & Mahindra, Indian Oil, Grasim Industries and SBI Life also fell between 2-4.5 per cent.
On the flipside, Adani Ports, Bajaj Auto, Divis Labs, Hindustan Unilever, Infosys, Dr Reddy's Labs and Bajaj Finserv were among the losers.
The overall market breadth was extremely negative as 2,416 shares were falling while 576 were declining on the BSE.