The BSE benchmark Sensex slipped over 210 points in the opening session on Wednesday, dragged lower particularly by oil & gas, pharma and banking stocks.
After opening on a slightly higher note, the BSE barometer succumbed to selling pressure and entered the negative territory to quote 210.75 points or 0.44 per cent lower at 48,136.84.
Likewise, the NSE gauge Nifty was trading 62.50 points or 0.44 per cent down at 14,176.40 in early deals.
On the Sensex chart, IndusInd Bank, Reliance Industries, Dr Reddy's, Asian Paints, NTPC and Bajaj FinServ were major losers.
Of the Sensex constituents, 20 stocks were trading in the red and 10 in the green.
In the previous three sessions, the BSE Sensex has lost 1,444.53 points or 2.90 per cent and the NSE Nifty has shed 405.80 points or 2.77 per cent.
On Monday, the Sensex tanked 530.95 points or 1.09 per cent to close the session at 48,347.59; and the Nifty shed 133 points or 0.93 per cent to close at 14,238.90.
Analysts said investors of late have preferred taking profits off the table ahead of the Union Budget and F&O expiry.
Foreign investors sold equities worth Rs 765.30 crore on a net basis in the Indian capital market on Monday, exchange data showed.
Indian equity markets were closed on Tuesday for the Republic Day.
Elsewhere in Asia on Wednesday, stocks were mixed as investors turned cautious after Wall Street slipped from record levels.
Meanwhile, Brent crude, the global oil benchmark, was trading higher by 0.41 per cent at 55.87 per barrel.