Here are 10 things to know about the markets today:
The Sensex ended 599.64 points - or 1.48 per cent - lower at 39,922.46, and the Nifty settled at 11,729.60, down 159.80 points - or 1.34 per cent - from its previous close.
HDFC, IndusInd Bank, ICICI Bank, Dr Reddy's, Adani Ports and Tech Mahindra - ending between 2.79 per cent and 3.50 per cent lower - were the worst hit among 41 laggards in the 50-scrip index. On the other hand, Bharti Airtel (up 3.38 per cent), UPL (2.80 per cnet) and Mahindra & Mahindra (1.16 per cent) were the top Nifty gainers.
HDFC, HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank and Reliance Industries were the biggest drags on Sensex, contributing more than 350 points to its fall.
Analysts awaited more large cap companies to report their financial results for the July-September period for cues.
Domestic investors are hoping the earnings momentum seen among the blue-chips will continue, said Vinod Nair, head of research at Geojit Financial Services. "The Nifty companies have managed their balance sheets well and margins have improved. The festival season will also help many Indian companies," he said.
Bucking the trend, Bharti Airtel shares closed 4.26 per cent higher at Rs 451.45 apiece on the BSE, a day after the telecom major reported its highest ever quarterly revenue, boosted by higher tariffs and a rise in data usage from a coronavirus-fuelled shift to remote working.
In other Asian markets, shares slipped amid increasing COVID-19 infections around the globe, while uncertainty over next week's US elections dampened investor sentiment. The E-Mini S&P 500 futures traded 1.39 per cent lower, indicating a sharply negative start for US stock markets later on Wednesday.
European share markets started Wednesday's session sharply lower, with the United Kingdom's FTSE 100 index last seen trading 2.08 per cent lower in early trade. France's CAC 40 and Germany's DAX 30 indices traded 3.27 per cent and 3.11 per cent lower respectively at the time.
The US, Russia, France and other countries have registered record numbers of infections in recent days, and European governments have introduced new curbs to try to rein in the fast-growing outbreaks.
Data on Tuesday showed consumer confidence in the world's largest economy unexpectedly fell in October, although other economic figures were mostly positive, with orders for key capital goods hitting a six-year high.