The benchmark BSE Sensex dropped 122.04 points and the broader NSE Nifty fell below the key 7,600-mark in late morning trade today on sustained selling pressure in healthcare bluechips amid lower Asian market cues.
Besides, volatility ahead of March derivatives expiry during the week impacted investor sentiments.
Apart from healthcare, capital goods, IT, consumer durable, oil & gas and industrials witnessed profit-booking, followed by mid-cap and small-cap companies’ shares, while auto, banks and energy segments saw some buying interest.
The Sensex resumed lower at 24,957.24 and touched a high of 25,053.73 before quoting at 24,844.36 at 1110 hours, showing a loss of 122.04 points or 0.49 per cent.
The NSE 50-share Nifty also slid by 31.70 points or 0.42 per cent to quote below the crucial 7,600-level at 7,583.40.
Major losers were Lupin (12.55 per cent), Cipla (4.03 per cent), Sun Pharma (2.91 per cent), Dr Reddy’s (2.82 per cent), GAIL (2.27 per cent) and ONGC (1.45 per cent).
Notable gainers include Tata Motors (2.01 per cent), Tata Steel (1.60 per cent), Maruti (1.47 per cent) and Reliance (0.80 per cent).
Meanwhile, foreign funds (FPP and FIIs) continued their buying spree as they bought shares worth Rs 976.91 crore on last Wednesday, as per the provisional data of stock exchanges.
Globally, most Asian markets were trading lower on continued concern over whether the US Federal Reserve might hike interest rates at its April meeting, while US stocks finished flat yesterday.