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 per cent at 47,071 while the Nifty 50 lowered by 98 points or 0.7 per cent to 13,870.
All sectoral indices at the National Stock Exchange were in the negative zone with Nifty PSU bank dipping by 2.4 per cent, private bank by 0.8 per cent, FMCG by 1.3 per cent, pharma and IT by 1.2 per cent each, and auto by 0.8 per cent.
Among stocks, Tech Mahindra was down by 2.8 per cent to Rs 969.20 per share while Wipro lost by 1.9 per cent to Rs 437.75.
Public sector Punjab National Bank was down by 2.4 per cent as private lenders HDFC Bank and Kotak Mahindra Bank slipped by 2.7 per cent and 1.8 per cent respectively.
The other prominent losers were UPL, Sun Pharma, Tata Motors and Hindustan Unilever. However, Axis Bank was up by 1.3 per cent and index heavyweight Reliance Industries added gains of 0.7 per cent.
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 per cent. Japan’s Nikkei fell by 1.3 per cent, its sharpest drop since October, and South Korea eased by 0.9 per cent led by losses in Samsung after it reported earnings.