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The Mumbai Police has been put on high alert after 26 Pakistani nationals were reported missing over the past two to three weeks. [Representational Image]Reuters file [Representational Image]

Benchmark indices witnessed a sharp selloff in afternoon trade Friday as heavyweights in realty, banking, IT and auto sectors bled as investors began booking profits in bluechip stocks.

Negative global cues amid fears of a potential US government shutdown and rising tension between the US and China, too, weighed on investor sentiment.

After plummeting over 400 points, the 30-share Sensex was trading 372.44 points, or 1.02 per cent, lower at 36,059.23 at 1100 hrs.

The index had finished 52.66 points, or 0.14 per cent, lower at 36,431.67 Thursday. The NSE Nifty, too, was trading 120.25 points, or 1.10 per cent, lower at 10,831.45. Top losers include Maruti, Infosys, Asian Paints, ICICI Bank, Wipro, Bajaj Auto, Reliance Industries, HDFC and TCS, cracking up to 3 per cent.

While the gainers include Tata Motors, Tata Steel, SBI and NTPC, rising up to 2 per cent. Domestic and other Asian stocks followed Wall Street that fell sharply after US President Donald Trump's demand for border wall funds pushed the federal government closer to a shutdown.

The White House said Trump will not travel to Florida Friday for the Christmas holiday if the government is shutting down.

More than 8,00,000 federal workers will be facing furloughs or forced to work without pay if a resolution is not reached before funding expires at midnight Friday.

Meanwhile, China accused the US of fabricating facts after the US Justice Department indicted two hackers tied to Chinese security services who allegedly targeted companies and agencies in a dozen countries, adding fuel to the rift between the two countries, experts said.

The rupee, meanwhile, weakened against the US dollar, and was trading at 69.89 a dollar. Brent crude, the international benchmark, was trading 0.66 per cent higher at USD 54.71 per barrel.

On a net basis, foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) sold shares worth Rs 386.44 crore Thursday, and domestic institutional investors (DIIs) were net buyers to the tune of Rs 87.96 crore, provisional data available with BSE showed.

Elsewhere in Asia, Hong Kong's Hang Seng was down 0.14 per cent, Japan's Nikkei fell 1.46 per cent and Shanghai Composite Index edged lower by 1.16 per cent.

On Wall Street, the US Dow Jones Industrial Average ended 464.06 points, or 1.99 per cent, lower at 22,859.60 Thursday.