including the yen, bonds and gold. The Sensex fell as much as 675 points to an intraday low of 36,443.41 and the NSE Nifty 50 Index slumped below its important psychological level of 10,800. The market sentiment back home also took a knock after local leaders in Kashmir were kept under house arrest by the government, analysts said.
As of 11:02 am, the Sensex fell 583 points or 1.57 per cent to 36,535 and the NSE Nifty 50 Index dropped 186 points or 1.69 per cent to 10,811. "Combination of global issues like US-China trade tensions and political situation panning out in Kashmir is creating panic and keeping the markets nervous," Deven Choksey, MD of KR Choksey Investment Managers told NDTV over phone.
Markets have been badly spooked since US President Donald Trump abruptly declared he would slap 10 per cent tariffs on $300 billion in Chinese imports, ending a month-long trade truce. China vowed on Friday to fight back.
In response, China's yuan burst beyond the psychological 7-per-dollar threshold in a move that threatened to unleash a new front in the trade hostilities - a currency war, news agency Reuters reported.
Back home, foreign institutional investors continue to sell shares in the Indian equity markets. In Friday's session, the foreign portfolio investors sold shares worth Rs. 2,888.06 crore while domestic institutional investors bought shares worth Rs. 2,812.66 crore.
The foreign portfolio investors have been selling shares in Indian markets since Budget after the government imposed higher taxes on those earning more than Rs. 2 crore and Rs. 5 crore including foreign investors who invest in capacity of trusts or association of persons. The FPIs sold shares worth Rs. 12,418.73 crore in July.
Seventeen of 19 sector gauges compiled by BSE were trading lower led by the S&P BSE Metal Index's nearly 3.6 per cent fall. Energy, Industrials, Utilities, Auto, Bankex, Capital Goods, Consumer Durables, Oil & Gas, Power and Realty sector gauges also fell between 2 and 2.8 per cent each.
On the other hand, S&P BSE Information Technology index rose 0.7 per cent tracking weak rupee against the dollar.
Mid- and small-cap shares were also witnessing selling pressure as the S&P BSE MidCap and S&P BSE SmallCap Indexes fell over 2 per cent each.
In the Nifty 50 basket of shares, 47 were declining led by Yes Bank's 9 per cent plunge. Tata Motors, Vedanta, JSW Steel, State Bank of India, Tata Steel, Power Grid, Hindalco, Indiabulls Housing Finance, ICICI Bank, Bharat Petroleum, ONGC and Reliance Industries were also among the losers, down between 3-5.4 per cent each.
On the flipside, Tata Consultancy Services, Infosys and HDFC were among the notable laggards.