Equity benchmark Sensex fell over 300 points in early trade on Thursday as spiking COVID-19 cases in the country and poor macroeconomic data weighed on investor sentiment. After touching a low of 31,362.96, the 30-share index was trading 158.23 points or 0.50 per cent lower at 31,527.52. Similarly, NSE Nifty slipped 33 points, or 0.36 per cent, to 9,237.90.
HUL was the top loser in the Sensex pack, dropping over 3 per cent, followed by Kotak Bank, ONGC, Bharti Airtel, PowerGrid, Titan and Nestle.
On the other hand, HCL Tech jumped over 3 per cent, after the company posted a 22.8 per cent rise in consolidated net profit at Rs 3,154 crore for the March quarter driven by strong growth across verticals.
Sun Pharma, Axis Bank and Bajaj Finance were also among the gainers.
In the previous session, the BSE barometer closed 232.24 points or 0.74 per cent higher at 31,685.75, the broader Nifty rose 65.30 points, or 0.71 per cent, to finish at 9,270.90.
Foreign portfolio investors were net sellers in the capital market on Wednesday, as they offloaded equity shares worth Rs 493.68 crore, according to provisional exchange data.
According to analysts, a massive surge in COVID-19 cases in recent days, disappointing corporate earnings and weak macroeconomic data have had an adverse impact on investor sentiment.
In India, the death toll due to COVID-19 rose to 1,783 and the number of cases climbed to 52,952, according to the health ministry.
Globally, the number of cases linked to the disease has crossed 37.55 lakh and the death toll has topped 2.63 lakh.
Meanwhile, bourses in Shanghai, Tokyo and Seoul were trading on a positive note, while those in Hong Kong were in the red.
Stock exchanges on Wall Street ended on a mixed note in the overnight sessions.
International oil benchmark Brent crude futures were trading 0.25 per cent higher at USD 29.79 per barrel.