It was fourth straight day of losses for stocks as the benchmark Sensex crashed over 284 points to end at a three-week low of 27,697.51 and the Nifty went below 8,600, with investors keeping their fingers crossed on GST debate outcome in Parliament.
The caution was more than amplified due to absence of any positive global triggers. To boot, profit booking in recent outperformers weighed.
Sentiment was downbeat marked by weakness across global markets as Japan's economy-boosting stimulus did not move investors. They started paring down their bets amid caution over passage of the long-stalled GST Bill in the Rajya Sabha, which took it up for consideration and passage on Wednesday.
The 30-scrip gauge resumed higher, but ended lower by 284.20 points, or 1.02 per cent, at 27,697.51 -- its lowest since July 11. It had fallen 604.651 points on June 24.
The gauge had lost 226.89 points in the previous three sessions.
The 50-share NSE Nifty shed 78.05 points, or 0.91 per cent, to end well below the 8,600-mark at 8,544.85, after moving between 8,635.45 and 8,529.60.
As many as 25 Sensex stocks closed with losses, including Tata Motors, ITC, Maruti Suzuki, Power Grid, L&T, Reliance Industries, Hindustan Unilever, Lupin, Bajaj Auto, ICICI Bank, TCS, HDFC and Dr Reddy's.
However, Cipla, Asian Paints, Sun Pharma and Coal India advanced, which cushioned the fall.
In terms of sectoral index, realty was hardest hit by falling 2.15 per cent, followed by FMCG 2.04 per cent, capital goods 1.74 per cent, consumer durables 1.73 per cent, power 1.71 per cent and auto 1.70 per cent.
Broader markets too wilted, with the BSE mid-cap index declining 1.50 per cent and the small-cap 1.14 per cent.
Foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) bought shares worth Rs 536.27 crore yesterday, provisional data showed.
Globally, Asian bourses fell the most in five weeks as a disappointing Japanese stimulus package and oil going below USD 40 a barrel renewed concerns that the global economic recovery still needs more legs to stand on.
For the day, benchmark indices in Japan, Hong Kong and Singapore ended lower by up to 1.88 per cent.
Europe threw up a mixed trend in early session, with France's CAC declining but the UK's FTSE and Germany's DAX firming up 0.25 per cent.