Equities remained under pressure for a third day as the BSE Sensex saw a deep plunge, falling by 316 points to end at a two-week low of 24,223.32 on sustained foreign fund outflows amid global rout on renewed concerns over slowing growth after oil prices resumed slide.
Moreover, the rupee, which again breached the 68-mark against the dollar also had its bearing on the market.
Global sentiment, already dampened by concerns over China’s economic growth, took a further hit after oil again dipped below USD 30 a barrel in Asian trade.
Meanwhile, a monthly PMI survey showing that India’s services sector activity touched a 19-month high in January failed to lift the market mood.
Resuming lower at 24,393.59, the Sensex touched the day’s low of 24,187.54 following widespread losses in blue-chip stocks as selling activity accelerated.
However, the index later recovered a bit to touch a high of 24,409.26 before winding up at 24,223.32, a fall of 315.68 points or 1.29 per cent. This is the lowest closing since January 21.
The gauge has lost 647 points in the three straight days. The NSE Nifty also remained under pressure and slipped below the 7,400-level by dropping 93.75 points or 1.26 per cent to close the day at 7,361.80.
Out of the 30-share Sensex pack, 26 scrips ended lower.
BHEL was the worst-hit, down 4.86 per cent followed by NTPC at 4.10 per cent. Others laggards included Tata Steel, ICICI Bank, Tata Motors, Axis Bank, Cipla, RIL, SBI, Asian Paints, Wipro, ONGC and Adani Ports.
Bucking the trend, HUL gained the most by surging 2.66 per cent, while TCS rose 0.77 per cent, while Sun Pharma and Bajaj Auto rose by up to 0.24 per cent.
Sectorwise, the BSE power index suffered the most by falling 4.16 per cent, followed by capital goods 2.79 per cent, realty 2.63 per cent, infra 2.30 per cent, metal 2.03 per cent, PSU 1.96 per cent, banking 1.63 per cent, auto 1.62 per cent and oil&gas 1.58 per cent.
The broader markets also performed weak with the BSE small-cap index ending 2.25 per down while the mid-cap fall 1.30 per cent.
Elsewhere, key indexes in Asia, like Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, China, South Korea and Taiwan moved down by up to 3.15 per cent.
In Europea, France, germany and the UK based indexes fell by up to 2.47 per cent in early trade.