Benchmark indices fell sharply in trade as global cues were weak, following a nosedive in stocks across the US markets. Tech shares led declines across Wall Street with Apple shares dropping 8% for their biggest one-day decline since March 16. Amazon, Netflix and Microsoft also saw sharp declines in trade.
Across Asia too markets were trading weak, with the Hang Sang sliding as much as 2 per cent and the Japanese Nikkei down 1.5 per cent.
The Sensex was trading with losses of nearly 650 points, while the Nifty dropped 186 points in early trade. Banking stocks were the hardest hit in trade with stocks like ICICI Bank, Axis Bank and IndusInd Bank among the big losers.
Shares in Reliance Industries too dropped despite reports that that Reliance Retail is in advanced negotiation with American private equity investor Silver Lake to sell 1.7-1.8% stake in the entity for about Rs 7500 crore. The stock lost 1 per cent in trade.
Grasim Industries, Zee Entertainment, JSW Steel and Tata Motors were among the top Nifty losers in trade. Among sectoral indices, the Nifty Bank was down almost 600 points or 2.5 per cent and was among the big losers. In fact, the last couple of days has seen stocks from the banking sector fall sharply.