All 30 stocks on the Bombay Stock Exchange's Sensex Sensitive Index declined, extending the gauge's losses to 17.4 percent from a Jan. 10 high. Reliance Industries Ltd., the nation's most valuable company, led the retreat.
"It is retail investor panic that is setting in,'' said T.S. Harihar, vice president for equity derivatives at Karvy Stock Broking Ltd. "Nobody is comfortable after such a huge correction from the peak. It started off with recession fears in the U.S. and then consistent selling by foreign investors.''
The Sensex dropped 1,490.60 points, or 7.8 percent, to 17,523.10 as of 2:36 p.m. local time, after plunging as much as 8.9 percent.