The Indian equity benchmarks extended losses in afternoon trading on the back of a broad-based selling pressure as traders were seen booking profits in recent outperforming shares. The benchmarks opened lower and selling pressure intensified in afternoon led by declines in heavyweights like ICICI Bank, Axis Bank, State Bank of India, HDFC Bank, ITC, Asian Paints and Infosys. The Sensex fell as much as 631 points and Nifty 50 index broke below its important psychological level of 15,000.
As of 2:21 pm, the Sensex fell 534 points to 50,790 and Nifty 50 index dropped 181 points to 14,937.
Selling pressure was broad-based as all the 11 sector gauges compiled by the National Stock Exchange were trading lower led by the Nifty PSU Bank index’s 6 per cent fall. Nifty Metal, Auto, Bank, Private Bank and Realty indexes also dropped between 2-3 per cent.
Mid- and small-cap shares also succumbed to selling pressure as Nifty Midcap 100 index dropped 2 per cent and Smallcap 100 index tumbled 1 per cent.
Forty two shares in the Nifty 50 basket were trading with a negative bias led by Tata Motors’ over 5 per cent decline. Tata Steel, ONGC, State Bank of India, Axis Bank, Hero MotoCorp, ICICI Bank, Tech Mahindra, Bajaj Auto, JSW Steel, Mahindra & Mahindra, Eicher Motors, Asian Paints and Adani Ports also fell between 2.4-5 per cent.
On the flipside, UPL, GAIL India, Hindustan Unilever, Reliance Industries, IndusInd Bank and NTPC were among the notable gainers.
The overall market breadth was extremely negative as 1,857 shares were declining while 1,057 were advancing on the BSE.