The BSE benchmark Sensex today closed 212 points lower, its biggest one-day fall in over two months, on selling in RIL, ICICI Bank, L&T, SBI and Bharti Airtel shares amid weak global cues triggered by worries over the US budget issue.
Besides, investor sentiment took a further hit amid CBI today filing a charge sheet in connection with alleged irregularities in spectrum allocation during the NDA regime involving three telecom players, including Bharti Airtel.
The telecom major's shares closed over 3 per cent lower.
Selling picked up in the second half of the trading session with all 13 sectoral indices closing down, led by realty, metal, pharma, capital foods, power, auto and banking. The BSE 30-share barometer remained in negative terrain throughout the day to settle at 19,242.00, a fall of 211.92 points or 1.09 per cent. Today's fall was the worst singe- day performance since October 8 when Sensex lost 229.48 points.
Declines in RIL, ICICI Bank, L&T, SBI, Bharti Airtel, HDFC Bank, Tata Motors, Jindal Steel, Sun Pharma, ONGC, M&M and Sterlite Industries together accounted for over 150-point hit for the Sensex.
Overall 28 out of 30 index constituents closed with losses while TCS and ITC were the lone gainers.
Similarly, the broader 50-issue S&P CNX Nifty of the NSE also dipped by 68.70 points or 1.16 per cent to 5,847.70.
Brokers said a steep fall in overseas stock markets on worries over US budget deficit issue mainly pulled down Indian shares.
"Global cues were not supportive as US fiscal cliff issues continue to overshadow any other economic news," Amar Ambani, Head of Research, IIFL, said.
Second-line stocks attracted profit-booking by retail investors and their indices, BSE- Midcap (-1.47 pc) and BSE-Smallcap (-1.47 pc), underperformed the Sensex.
Asian stocks ended lower on reports that US House Republican leaders cancelled a vote that would permit higher taxes amid stalled budget talks.
Key benchmark indices in China, Hong Kong, Japan, Taiwan, Singapore and South Korea fell between 0.38-0.99 per cent.
The European market was also trading lower as key indices in France, Germany and the UK lost in 0.54-0.65 percent range.
"Markets are hoping for a solution to the US fiscal cliff issue because if a solution is not reached, it can impact sentiments negatively. We expect the issue to be resolved and the same can provide relief in short term," said Dipen Shah, Head of Private Client Group