Snapping a three-day rising streak, the BSE Sensex today plunged over 590 points to end below 18,000-level as the Indian rupee nosedived to 66-mark against dollar and concerns related to government's fiscal burden after the passage of Food Security Bill weighed on sentiment.
Investors lost a whopping Rs 1.7 lakh crore in wealth as across-the-board selling saw over 1,500 stocks closing in red.
Banks, capital goods, power and realty were among the hardest hit as investors pulled out money from blue-chips.
The BSE Sensex, which had gained 652 points in past three sessions, tumbled by 590.05 points, or 3.18 per cent to 17,968.08, a level last seen on August 21.
It was not one of the best days for the investors as the markets grappled with negative global cues, geopolitical tensions and firming crude prices. The Food Security Bill was passed yesterday and it is expected to add to the fiscal burden. We believe, crude oil has emerged as a key risk in the near-term, which is not a good sign for the Indian rupee. Thus, on an overall basis, the macroeconomic outlook has weakened and risks have clearly strengthened, says Sanjeev Zarbade, Vice President-Private Client Group Research, Kotak Securities.
On similar lines, the broad-based NSE Nifty fell below a crucial 5300 level by dropping 189.05 points, or 3.45 per cent to 5,287.45. SX40 index, the flagship index of MCX-SX, closed 391.41 points or 3.55 per cent down at 10629.77.
Brokers said with the rupee hitting a new record low of 66 per dollar in intra-day trade, market participants resorted to panic selling on concerns over increased capital outflows.
The selling pressure gathered momentum on worries that the Food Security plan would worsen government's fiscal burden while a weakening global trend on growing tension in Syria and surging oil prices also weighed, brokers added.
In 30-share Sensex pack, 27 stocks fell. HDFC Ltd dropped 7.70 per cent to Rs 686.86, HDFC Bank by 8.04 per cent to Rs 560.90, SBI by 2.40 per cent to Rs 1,519.90 and ICICI Bank by 3.26 per cent to Rs 803.30.