Weak cues from Asia and worries over China's economic growth pushed indices in Asia lower. The Sensex was trading below the 20,000 mark at 19,997 points, led by a sharp fall in sectors across the board. The Nifty broke its 200 DMA average of 5970 points and was trading at 5942 points.
Among the stocks that saw the sharpest cut were those from the metals and the banking space. Stocks that fell in trade were Hindalco, Axis Bank, Jaiprakash Associates, Sesa Sterlite and Mahindra and Mahindra. Tata Motors was the only Nifty stock that saw a decent gain of 1 per cent in early trade.
Software stocks which have been supporting the market thus far also cracked in trade over worries that weaker than expected economic numbers from the US, would affect business prospects.
Among the notable losers from the space were HCL Tech, which fell almost 3 per cent, while Wipro saw a drop of 2 per cent in trade. Other notable losers were Infosys and TCS.
Banking stocks once again saw the steepest fall with Bank of India, Yes Bank, ICICI Bank and Axis Bank sliding.
Shares in Bajaj Auto were down despite the company reporting total January sales to 3.18 lakh units versus 2.97 lakh units month-on-month.
Meanwhile, in Asia most of the markets were trading sharply lower, led by the Japanese Nikkei, which fell to a 3 month low. The Nikkei was down almost 3 per cent, and has been Asia's worst performing markets. Other Asian markets which saw deep cuts were Hong Kong's Hang Sang and the Taiwan Weighted.