Mumbai: Equity benchmark indices tumbled over half per cent during early hours on Wednesday tracking Asian peers as halted COVID-19 vaccine trials soured investor risk appetite.
Besides, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) revised its projection of contraction in India's GDP for current fiscal year to 10.3 per cent from 4.5 per cent earlier, citing a rise in COVID-19 cases.
At 10:15 am, the BSE S&P Sensex was down by 232 points or 0.6 per cent at 40,393 while the Nifty 50 lost by 88 points or 0.73 per cent at 11,847.
All sectoral indices at the National Stock Exchange were in the red zone with Nifty private bank down by 1 per cent, PSU bank by 0.7 per cent, IT by 1.1 per cent and metal by 0.9 per cent.
Among stocks, Wipro slipped by 6.5 per cent to Rs 351.45 per share despite improving its performance in the second quarter of FY21 on several parameters.
The other prominent losers were energy majors like Coal India, NTPC, ONGC, Bharat Petroleum Corporation, IndianOil Corporation and Power Grid Corporation.
Among the gainers were FMCG majors Titan, Britannia and Hindustan Lever besides Tata Steel, Hero MotoCorp and Bajaj Auto.
Meanwhile, Asian equities slipped as halted COVID-19 vaccine trials and an impasse in US fiscal aid package talks soured risk appetite.
Johnson & Johnson said a day earlier it was pausing a COVID-19 vaccine trial due to a study participant's unexplained illness.
Eli Lilly and Co later said it too had paused the clinical trial of its COVID-19 antibody treatment due to a safety concern, leading the US equity market to deepen losses.
MSCI's broadest index of Asia Pacific shares outside of Japan fell by 0.2 per cent while Japan's Nikkei dipped by 0.2 per cent and South Korea's Kospi stumbled by 0.7 per cent.