The Sensex was down 1,670 points or 8.79 per cent at 17,344.24 in the afternoon. The Nifty was down 609 points or 10.68 per cent at 5096.10. As per regulatory rules, the market will be shut if the Sensex/Nifty break the 15 per cent lower circuit. Biggest index losers are ACC (down 18.10%), NTPC (15.26%), Reliance Communication (14.69%), Hindalco Industries (11.94%), Tata Steel (11.75%), BHEL (11.66%).
The fall was triggered by weakness in global markets, but the impact of the global rout was the biggest in India. Elsewhere in Asia, Japan's Nikkei slumped 3.86 per cent to 13325.94, Hang Seng plummeted 5.49 per cent to 23,818.86 and Singapore's Straits Times declined 5.62 per cent to 2,929.90.
European stocks entered a bear market for the first time since 2003 with London's FTSE down 2.54 per cent at 5,751.90, France's CAC 40 plunging 3 per cent to 4,939.88 and Germany's DAX slumping 3.03 per cent to 7,092.30