With selling pressure gathering force, the market, which had faltered from higher levels about a couple of hours ago and slipped into negative territory subsequently, has now plunged deeper into the red.
The Sensex, up nearly 325 points in early trade, is currently down as much as 277 points or 1.5% at 17,969. The Nifty is down 71.65 points or 1.3% at 5329.80, around 175 points down from the day's high of 5504.10.
The rupee's slide to 64.40 against the U.S. dollar, and fears of a further downside for the currency appear to be prompting investors to exit counters.
FMCG, oil and metal stocks have declined sharply. Pharmaceuticals, capital goods and information technology stocks too are mostly down with notable losses. Realty and automobile stocks have declined as well. Bank stocks, which had moved up sharply following the central bank relaxing some rules to facilitate availability of more cash in the banking system, are well off their highs now, with a few even slipping into negative territory.
Ranbaxy Laboratories has lost over 9% due to heavy selling at the counter. Sesa Goa is down 8% and Jaiprakash Associates is trading lower by 6%. Cairn India, ACC, Dr Reddy's Laboratories, Reliance Infrastructure, ITC, Reliance Industries, Ambuja Cements, BPCL and SUn Pharmaceutical Industries are down 3% - 5%.
Bharti Airtel, Larsen & Toubro, NMDC, NTPC, IDFC, Tata Motors, Infosys, Kotak Bank, Tata Steel, ICICI Bank, Hindalco, Cipla, State Bank of India and HCL Technologies are down 1% - 2.8%.
Bucking the trend, IndusInd Bank, BHEL, HDFC, Tata Power, HDFC Bank and GAIL India are trading with sharp gains. Power Grid Corporation, DLF, Bajaj Auto, Maruti Suzuki, Axis Bank and Punjab National Bank are also trading in positive territory.