The benchmark Sensex index plunged more than 600 points early in Monday, following losses by index heavyweights Reliance Industries, twins HDFC and ICICI Bank amid a negative trend in Asian stocks.

The 30-stock BSE index fell 607.32 points or 1.24% to 48,175.04 in initial trades.

Likewise, the larger NSE Nifty fell 152.45 points or 1.04% to 14,478.65.

Titan was the first loser in the Sensex pack, losing around 3%, followed by SBI, ONGC, Reliance Industries, Axis Bank, HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, HDFC and Bajaj Finance.

In contrast, M&M, Bajaj Auto, Maruti, HUL, IndusInd Bank and Nestle India were among the winners.

In the previous session, Sensex slipped 983.58 points or 1.98% to finish at 48,782.36, and Nifty lost 263.80 points or 1.77% to 14,631.10.

Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs) were net sellers in the capital market as they unloaded shares worth ₹ 3,465.07 crore on Friday, while Domestic Institutional Investors (DII) bought shares from a value of ₹ 1,419.31 crore, according to provisional exchange data.

“National actions do not seem inspiring at the moment. The poor performance of the NDA in the West Bengal Assembly elections and the possibility of the emergence of strong opposition from the alliance of regional parties to fight the NDA may weigh on the feelings of investors, ”said Binod Modi, Head of Strategy at Reliance Securities.

Notably, a persistent increase in the second wave of COVID-19 cases, an increase in death cases and a prolonged partial lockdown announced by several states are also expected to maintain economic momentum in May, he added.

Active cases of COVID-19 in India jumped to 34,13,642 from 33,49,644 on Sunday, according to an update from the Ministry of Health this morning.

Elsewhere in Asia, the Hong Kong and Seoul stock exchanges were trading on a negative note in mid-session trading. The Shanghai and Tokyo stock exchanges were closed for the holidays.

Meanwhile, international benchmark Brent crude was trading 0.39% lower at $ 66.50 a barrel.