The equity benchmarks extended their losses in afternoon session on Thursday, led by IT, banking, pharma, metal, consumer, financial services, and auto stocks. At 2:51 pm, the 30-share Sensex was at 35,389.76, down 494.65 points or 1.38 per cent, and the Nifty50 was at 10,623.60, with a loss of 159.30 points or 1.48 per cent. Forty five out of 50 Nifty stocks were in the red. Trading between 3.75-5.72 per cent lower, the top five Nifty losers were Indiabulls Housing Finance, Tech Mahindra, Maruti Suzuki, Grasim Industries and HCL Technologies.
The Sensex shed as much as 542.58 points and the Nifty as much as 177.6 points.
All sectoral indices traded in the red.
In global markets, US stock futures tumbled on Thursday and Asian markets followed after Canadian authorities arrested a top executive of Chinese tech giant Huawei Technologies, fanning fears of further tensions between China and the United States, reported news agency Reuters.
Japan's Nikkei slid 0.8 per cent, with benchmark indexes in South Korea and Australia down 0.6 per cent and 0.2 per cent, respectively.
In commodity markets, oil prices fell but trading was tepid ahead of a meeting by producer group Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) that is expected to result in a supply cut aimed at draining a glut that has pulled down crude prices by 30 per cent since October.
US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $52.66 per barrel at 0140 GMT or 7:10 am IST, down 23 cents, or 0.4 per cent, from their last close. International Brent crude oil futures were down 7 cents, or 0.1 per cent, at $61.49 per barrel, stated Reuters.
On Wednesday, foreign and domestic funds withdrew net equities worth Rs 357.82 crore and Rs 791.59 crore respectively, showed provisional NSE data. (With agency inputs)