Domestic shares declined further in early afternoon trade. At 12:25 IST, the barometer index, the S&P BSE Sensex, was down 818.22 points or 2.17% at 36,850.20. The Nifty 50 index slumped 224.90 points or 2.02% at 10,906.95.
Global investors' sentiment took a hit after US Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Richard Clarida told the media on Wednesday that the U.S. economy remains in a deep hole of joblessness and weak demand, and called for more fiscal stimulus. Clarida added that the central bank will not raise interest rates until it sees 2% inflation for at least a few months and full employment is reached.
Meanwhile, rising COVID-19 infections in Europe and uncertainties over U.S. presidential elections also worried investors.
In the broader market, the S&P BSE Mid-Cap index fell 2.25% while the S&P BSE Small-Cap index slipped 2.30%.
Sellers outnumbered buyers. On the BSE, 448 shares rose and 1958 shares fell. A total of 129 shares were unchanged.
Total COVID-19 confirmed cases worldwide stood at 31,870,904 with 976,311 deaths. India reported 966,382 active cases of COVID-19 infection and 91,149 deaths, according to the data from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India.
The NSE's India VIX, a gauge of market's expectation of volatility over the near term, surged 7.58% to 22.5825. The Nifty September 2020 futures were trading at 11,167.10, at a premium of 8.1 points compared with the spot at 11,159.
The Nifty option chain for 24 September 2020 expiry showed maximum Call OI of 54.93 lakh contracts at the 11,300 strike price. Maximum Put OI of 46.53 lakh contracts was seen at 11,000 strike price.
The Nifty Metal index fell 3.47% to 2,128.80. The index has tumbled 11.2% in six sessions.
Jindal Steel & Power (down 5.49%), NMDC (down 4.8%), Tata Steel (down 4.22%), Welspun Corp (down 3.91%), SAIL (down 3.88%), Hindalco Industries (down 3.78%), National Aluminum Co. (down 3.46%), JSW Steel (down 2.91%), Hindustan Zinc (down 2.78%), Coal India (down 2.73%), Mishra Dhatu Nigam (down 2.26%), Hindustan Copper (down 1.92%), Ratnamani Metals Tubes (down 1.44%), MOIL (down 1.36%) and APL Apollo Tubes (down 1.14%) advanced.
Stocks in Spotlight:
Datamatics Global Services hit a lower circuit of 5% at Rs 74.10. The company announced expansion of distribution agreement with Ingram Micro for META region (Middle East, Turkey and Africa) for its Intelligent Automation (IA) products.
Havells India slipped 0.19% at Rs 672.90. The company said it launched 25 new models of direct cool, frost free and side by side refrigerators. It plans to launch additional 25 models of refrigerators and a new range of dishwashers by Diwali 2020.