New Delhi: Equity benchmark Sensex dropped over 200 points in early trade on Wednesday tracking losses in index-heavyweights ITC, Axis Bank and Kotak Bank amid rising concerns over the country's economic outlook as COVID-19 cases spike.
The 30-share index was trading 256.76 points or 0.82 per cent lower at 31,196.75, and the NSE Nifty fell 77.60 points, or 0.84 per cent, to 9,128.
ITC was the top loser in the Sensex pack, tanking nearly 6 per cent, followed by Axis Bank, Titan, Bajaj Auto, Maruti, M&M, L&T and IndusInd Bank.
On the other hand, Bharti Airtel, ONGC, NTPC, Reliance Industries and Tata Steel were among the gainers.
In the previous session, the BSE barometer settled 261.84 points or 0.83 per cent lower at 31,453.51, and the NSE Nifty fell 87.90 points or 0.95 per cent to close at 9,205.60.
Foreign portfolio investors were net sellers in the capital market on Tuesday, as they offloaded equity shares worth Rs 1,059.39 crore, according to provisional exchange data.
According to traders, economic uncertainty due to the COVID-19 pandemic, muted corporate earnings and weak marcoeconomic data are keeping investors wary.
In India, the death toll due to COVID-19 rose to 1,694 and the number of cases climbed to 49,391, according to the health ministry.
Globally, the number of cases linked to the disease has crossed 36.63 lakh and the death toll has topped 2.57 lakh.
Meanwhile, bourses in Shanghai, Hong Kong and Seoul were trading on a positive note, while those in Tokyo were closed for a holiday.
Stock exchanges on Wall Street ended with firm gains in overnight session.
International oil benchmark Brent crude futures were trading 0.36 per cent lower at $30.86 per barrel.