Shares of Maruti Suzuki fell by nearly 3 per cent in morning trade on the BSE on Monday amid concerns that the powerful earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan last week may hurt its imports from the country.

After opening trade on a weak note, the stock went down by 2.74 per cent to an early low of Rs. 1,218.35 on the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE). The stock emerged as the worst performer among the 30-Sensex stocks in early trade.

In a similar fashion, the stock took a beating on the National Stock Exchange, where it shed 2.62 per cent to a low of Rs.1,218.05.

“The fall in the stock was due to worries that... last week’s earthquake would hurt the car maker’s margins this year, which can also see a fall in imports,” an expert said.

Weakness was also seen on the counters of other auto companies. Bajaj Auto, Tata Motors and Hero Honda were reeling under pressure.

Bajaj Auto slipped by 1.25 per cent, while Tata Motors fell by 0.92 per cent and Hero Honda by 0.33 per cent.

Led by a decline in these stocks, the BSE Auto index suffered a loss of 60.40 points, or 0.69 per cent, to 8,707.13 in early trade.

Meanwhile, the BSE benchmark Sensex was quoting at 18,234.78, up by 60.69 points at 1032 hours.