Negative global cues on the back of prevailing geo-political tensions, coupled with heavy selling pressure in index heavyweights like Adani Ports, Tata Steel and Larsen & Toubro, dragged key Indian equities lower for the fifth consecutive trade session on Monday.
According to market observers, investors remained cautious about the government's plans for a stimulus programme which might lead to fiscal deficit.
At 3:00 p.m., the BSE Sensex was down 316.90 points or 0.99 percent at 31,605.54 and the 50-share NSE Nifty declined 97.95 points or 0.98 percent to 9,866.45.
The Sensex has so far touched a high of 32016.52 points and a low of 31573.32 points during intra-day trade.
The BSE market breadth was bearish -- with 1,958 declines and 432 advances.
"The benchmark indices extended losses on Monday with the Nifty50 breaching its crucial 9,850 mark as investors turned jittery as they expect government to tinker with its fiscal deficit target for FY18 by announcing an economic stimulus to revive the economy," Dhruv Desai, Director and Chief Operating Officer of Tradebulls, told IANS.
"Traders said apart from continuous foreign funds outflows, selling by retail investors amid lingering North Korea tensions led to a further drop in the Sensex. Foreign portfolio investors sold shares worth a net Rs 1,241.73 crore on Friday, showed provisional data released by the stock exchanges," added Desai.
On Friday, the benchmark indices witnessed the steepest fall since November 2016, on the back of escalating geo-political tensions between North Korea and the US, a weak rupee and heavy selling pressure in capital goods, metal and banking stocks.
The Nifty50 slipped below the psychologically important 10,000 points mark, to close at 9,964.40 points, while the Sensex plunged by 447.60 points, or 1.38 per cent, to end below its psychologically important 32,000 points-level at 31,922.44 points.
(With IANS inputs)