The benchmark indices have plunged nearly 1 per cent in early noon trading, dragged by weakness in select banking and information technology stocks. At 12:15 pm, the BSE Sensex was trading at 51,538.75, weaker by 403.05 points or 0.78 per cent and the NSE Nifty was at 15,485.10, down 90.30 points or 0.58 per cent. The broader markets were defying the weak trend, with the BSE Midcap index and BSE Smallcap index gaining 1 per cent each.
On the currency front, the rupee slumped 27 paise to 73.17 against the US dollar in opening trade on Wednesday tracking weak domestic equities and strong American currency. At the interbank foreign exchange, the rupee opened lower at 73.13 against the dollar and lost further ground thereafter.
Meanwhile, MTAR Technologies, Muthoot Finance and PVR are scheduled to release their quarterly earnings during the day.
On the stock-specific front, ITC was top loser on the BSE. The stock fell as much as 2.76 per cent to hit an intraday low of Rs 209.30 a day after the FMCG major reported net profit of Rs 3,748 crore in the quarter ended March 2021, marking a decline of 1.3 per cent compared to the same quarter last year.
Information technology stocks were trading lower, with Tech Mahindra, TCS, Infosys and HCL Technologies losing around a per cent each on the BSE. The private banking space was also seeing some pressure, with the likes of HDFC, HDFC Bank, Axis Bank and ICICI Bank shedding around a per cent each on the BSE.
On the flip side, Power Grid, NTPC, Sun Pharma and SBI gained around half a per cent each on the BSE.
The BSE market breadth was strong. Out of 3,118 stocks traded on the BSE, there were 1950 advancing stocks as against 1021 declines.