Equity benchmark indices fell by over 1 per cent during early hours on Monday amid weak global cues as coronavirus cases continue to surge across the world.
That dimmed the hopes of an early economic recovery and drove investors to safer assets like government bonds, gold and the US dollar.
At 10:15 am, the BSE S&P Sensex was down by 431 points or 1.23 per cent at 34,740 while the Nifty 50 edged lower by 130 points or 1.25 per cent at 10,253.
Except for Nifty FMCG and pharma, all sectoral indices at the National Stock Exchange were in the negative zone with Nifty metal down by 2.6 per cent, private bank by 2.3 per cent and financial service by 2 per cent.
Among stocks, Bajaj Finance dropped by 4.3 per cent to Rs 2,778.85 per share while Bajaj Finserv slipped by 2.8 per cent to Rs 5,776.85.
Private lenders were on slippery ground with Axis Bank down by 4.4 per cent, IndusInd Bank by 3 per cent and ICICI Bank by 2.6 per cent.
Hindalco, JSW Steel, Coal India, Bharti Infratel and Tech Mahindra too traded with a negative bias. But FMCG majors ITC, Nestle India and Britannia were in the positive zone along with Cipla and Sun Pharma.
Meanwhile, Asian share markets got off to a shaky start as the spread of coronavirus led investors to question the optimism on the global economy.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia Pacific shares outside Japan eased by 0.2 per cent while Japan’s Nikkei shed 1.5 per cent and South Korean stocks 1.4 per cent.