Here are 10 things to know about Friday's selloff
Reliance Industries, HDFC, HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank, Infosys and State Bank of India were among the top drags on the Sensex.
Asian stocks suffered their sharpest drop in two months on Friday after the detection of a new vaccine-resistant Covid19 variant sent investors scurrying toward the safety of bonds, the yen and the dollar.
MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan fell 1.3 per cent, its sharpest drop since September. Casino and beverage shares sold off in Hong Kong, and travel stocks dropped in Sydney.
As of 11:00 am, the Sensex dropped 1,408 points to 57,315 and Nifty 50 index tumbled 426 points or 2.43 per cent to 17,110.
"A new variant of Covid has been found which threatens to create a negative sentiment with some countries tightening curbs. This variant is of concern that it might resist vaccines. Stretched valuation of markets and concerns over the liquidity tapering by the US Federal Reserve also added to nervousness among market participants," said Manoj Dalmia, founder and director of Proficient Equities.
Selling pressure was broad-based as all the 19 sector gauges compiled by the BSE were trading lower led by the S&P BSE Realty index's over 5 per cent decline. Auto, Metal, Consumer Durables, Oil & Gas, Power, Industrials, IT, Telecom, Banking and Finance indices also fell between 2-3.5 per cent.
Mid- and small-cap shares were also facing selling pressure as S&P BSE MidCap index dropped 2.72 per cent and S&P BSE SmallCap index declined 2 per cent.
In the Nifty 50 basket of shares, 44 were trading lower led by ONGC's 2.74 per cent decline. Maruti Suzuki, Kotak Mahindra Bank, Tata Motors, Hindalco, JSW Steel, Tata Steel, Bajaj Finance, HDFC, Grasim Industries, Titan, Mahindra & Mahindra and Reliance Industries also fell between 2-4 per cent.
On the flipside, Cipla, Dr Reddy's Labs, Sun Pharma, Divi's Labs, Power Grid and Coal India were among the notable gainers.
The overall market breadth was extremely negative as 2,192 shares were declining while 896 were advancing on the BSE.