Equity benchmark indices cracked during early hours on Thursday amid weak global cues and as caution set in ahead of the Union Budget.
At 10:15 am, the BSE S&P Sensex was down by 339 points or 0.71 percent at 47,071 while the Nifty 50 lowered by 98 points or 0.7 percent to 13,870.
All sectoral indices at the National Stock Exchange were in the negative zone with Nifty PSU bank dipping by 2.4 percent, private bank by 0.8 percent, FMCG by 1.3 percent, pharma and IT by 1.2 percent each, and auto by 0.8 percent.
Among stocks, Tech Mahindra was down by 2.8 percent to Rs 969.20 per share while Wipro lost by 1.9 percent to Rs 437.75.
Public sector Punjab National Bank was down by 2.4 percent as private lenders HDFC Bank and Kotak Mahindra Bank slipped by 2.7 percent and 1.8 percent respectively.
The other prominent losers were UPL, Sun Pharma, Tata Motors, and Hindustan Unilever. However, Axis Bank was up by 1.3 percent and index heavyweight Reliance Industries added gains of 0.7 percent.
Meanwhile, Asian shares slid as delays with coronavirus vaccines shook investor optimism about an early recovery for the global economy.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia Pacific shares outside Japan fell by 1.2 percent. Japan’s Nikkei fell by 1.3 percent, its sharpest drop since October, and South Korea eased by 0.9 percent led by losses in Samsung after it reported earnings.