Equity benchmark Sensex plunged over 350 points in early trade on Thursday amid negative cues from global markets as rising coronavirus cases and uncertainty over US presidential elections weighed on investor sentiment.
Market participants were also cautious ahead of the expiry of October derivatives contracts, traders said.
The 30-share BSE index was trading 365.19 points or 0.91 per cent lower at 39,557.27. Similarly, the broader NSE Nifty tumbled 106.90 points or 0.91 per cent to 11,622.70.
Titan was the top laggard in the Sensex pack, dropping over 4 per cent, followed by L&T, ONGC, Tech Mahindra, Bajaj Auto, HUL and Nestle India.
On the other hand, Axis Bank, Asian Paints, UltraTech Cement and HCL Tech were among the gainers.
In the previous session, Sensex ended 599.64 points or 1.48 per cent lower at 39,922.46, and Nifty tanked 159.80 points or 1.34 per cent to close at 11,729.60
Exchange data showed that foreign institutional investors sold equities worth Rs 1,130.98 crore on a net basis on Wednesday.
According to Arjun Yash Mahajan Head Institutional Business at Reliance Securities, the India trade set up does not look to be encouraging due to weak global cues. Volatility in domestic equities is expected to persist due to futures and options (F&O) expiry.
US equities fell sharply as rise in coronavirus cases in the country and European nations, he said, adding that fresh restrictions imposed by Germany and France to contain COVID-19 spread also jolted investors’ confidence.
Further, with six days to go for the presidential election in the US and ambiguity over outcomes, investors appeared to be cautious, he noted.
Bourses in Hong Kong, Seoul and Tokyo were trading on a negative note in mid-session deals, while Shanghai was in the positive territory.
Equities on Wall Street crashed over 3 per cent in overnight session.
Meanwhile, international oil benchmark Brent crude was trading 0.13 per cent lower at USD 39.59 per barrel.