Caution ahead of the release of inflation macro-data, along with increased chances of a US rate hike and anxiety over upcoming quarterly results dented the Indian equity markets during the mid-afternoon trade session on Thursday.
Besides, disappointing factory output data released after market hours on Monday too dragged the key indices lower.
The wider 51-scrip Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) plunged by 140.75 points or 1.62 per cent to 8,568.05 points.
The barometer 30-scrip sensitive index (Sensex) of the BSE, which opened at 28,042.62 points, traded at 27,639.12 points (1.45 p.m.) -- down by 443.22 points or 1.58 per cent from the previous close at 28,082.34 points.
The Sensex touched a high of 28,042.62 points and a low of 27,607.32 points during the intra-day trade.
The BSE market breadth was in favour of the bulls -- with 2,011 declines and 704 advances.
On Monday, the last trading day, both the key Indian indices had made marginal gains on the back of positive global cues.
The barometer index had closed higher by 21.20 points or 0.08 per cent to 28,082.34 points, while the NSE Nifty inched-up by 11.20 points or 0.13 per cent to 8,708.80 points.
Initially on Thursday, the benchmark indices opened on a negative note in sync with their Asian peers.
The Asian, domestic and European markets plunged due to increased chances of US Federal Reserve (US Fed) going in for a rate hike in December.
The September meeting minutes of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) revealed that most members were in favour of a rate hike in the later part of the calendar year.
A rate-hike can potentially lead FPIs (Foreign Portfolio Investors) away from emerging markets such as India, and is also expected to dent business margins as access to capital from the US will become expensive.
In addition, disappointing factory output data and anxiety over the upcoming release of key quarterly results dampened sentiments.