Domestic stock markets fell in early trade on Thursday as equities across Asia fell on concerns about fresh COVID-19-related lockdowns in Europe. The S&P BSE Sensex index fell 398.21 points - or 1 per cent - to hit 39,524.25 at the weakest level in morning deals, and the broader NSE Nifty 50 benchmark slid to as low as 11,609.20, down 120.40 points - or 1.03 per cent - from its previous close. Selling pressure across sectors - led by banking, financial services and consumer goods - dragged the markets lower.
At 9:39 am, the Sensex traded 207.92 points - or 0.52 per cent - lower at 39,714.54 while the Nifty was down 82.35 points - or 0.70 per cent - at 11,647.25.
Larsen & Toubro, Titan, Tata Motors, Bajaj Auto, Adani Ports and Hindalco, trading between 1.73 per cent and 3.90 per cent lower, were the top losers among 46 laggards in the 50-scrip index. Axis Bank and Asian Paints - up 0.90 per cent and 0.76 per cent respectively - bucked the trend, and were the top Nifty gainers.
Larsen & Toubro, HDFC Bank and HDFC were the biggest drags on Sensex, accounting for more than 100 points in its fall.
Analysts awaited more large cap earnings for near-term cues, a day after construction major L&T and the country's third largest private lender, Axis Bank, reported their financial results for the July-September period.
Larsen & Toubro shares slumped nearly 5 per cent to Rs 935.55 apiece on the BSE, after the company reported a net loss from continuing operations on a standalone basis in the quarter ended September 30.
Axis Bank shares gained more than 2 per cent to touch the Rs 516.25 apiece mark on the BSE, a day after the lender reported a net profit of Rs 1,682.67 crore in the July-September period as its asset quality improved. Axis Bank had posted a net loss of Rs 112.08 crore in the corresponding period a year ago.
Share markets in other parts of Asia fell on Thursday, but not as sharply as Wall Street's rout overnight, as the region's brighter economic outlook offset investor worries about fresh COVID-19 lockdowns in Europe.
MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was last seen trading 1 per cent lower. while Japan's Nikkei 225 benchmark was down 0.8 per cent.
The fall was less severe than the S&P 500 index's 3.5 per cent drop or the 4.2 per cent plunge in Germany's DAX, which led European shares to their lowest level since late May.
The Sensex had ended 599.64 points - or 1.48 per cent - lower at 39,922.46 on Wednesday, and the Nifty settled at 11,729.60, down 159.80 points - or 1.34 per cent - from its previous close.