MUMBAI: Equity benchmark indices extended early losses and continued to remain under pressure around noon on Monday with auto and metal stocks taking a severe beating.
At 12:15 pm, the BSE S&P Sensex was down 317 points at 37,566 while the Nifty 50 lost over one per cent or 122 points to level at 11,163.
At the National Stock Exchange, all sectoral indices were in the red. Nifty auto tumbled by over 3 per cent, media by 2.6 per cent, metal by 2.5 per cent and pharma by nearly 2 per cent.
Among stocks, Indiabulls Housing Finance plunged by 7.6 per cent and traded at Rs 576.85 per share after BJP leader Subramanian Swamy accused the company of embezzling funds from the National Housing Bank.
Auto stocks were the worst sufferers. Tata Motors skidded by 4.7 per cent, Bajaj Auto by 4.9 per cent, Eicher Motors by 3.8 per cent and Hero MotoCorp by over 3 per cent.
Grasim slipped by 6.2 per cent, mining major Vedanta by over 4.6 per cent, JSW Steel by 3.2 per cent and Zee Entertainment by 3.1 per cent.
However, ICICI Bank edged higher by 3.78 per cent. IT majors like HCL Tech, Tech Mahindra, Tata Consultancy Services and Infosys showed marginal gains.
Meanwhile, Asian stocks dipped as US and Chinese trade negotiators meet in Shanghai this week for their first in-person talks since a G-20 truce last month, However, investor expectations are low for a breakthrough.
The biggest decline was in South Korea on earnings concerns, with equity benchmarks also slipping in Japan and Hong Kong. China was little changed as markets anxiously counted down to a likely cut in US interest rates this week.