The BSE benchmark Sensex plunged over 550 points Wednesday to slip below the 36,000-level after the rupee collapsed to a new life-time low amid surging crude oil prices and unabated foreign fund outflows.
The BSE 30-share barometer, after a weak start, continued its slide to plummet below the 36,000-mark to hit a low of 35,911.82 to finally settle 550.51 points, or 1.51 per cent, down at 35,975.63.
The gauge had gained 299 points in the previous session on Monday after the RBI announced measures to shore up liquidity.
The NSE Nifty, too, stayed in the negative terrain through the session and hit a low of 10,843.75, finally ending 150.05 points, or 1.36 per cent, lower at 10,858.25.
Investors were cautious as the three-day RBI policy review began Wednesday. The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) is expected to go for a 25 basis points hike.
The domestic currency breached the 73-mark for the first time to hit an all-time low of 73.41 (intra-day) against the US dollar.
Meanwhile, Brent crude oil near USD 85 a barrel, the rupee weakening by 43 paise to hit an all-time low of 73.41 against the dollar, and a mixed trend in other Asian markets also influenced trading sentiment here.
Mixed trend at other Asian and European markets on weak global cues also accelerated selling activity on bourses here, traders said.
Domestic markets were closed on Tuesday on account of Gandhi Jayanti.
Foreign funds sold shares worth a net of Rs 1,842 crore, while domestic institutional investors bought equities worth Rs 1,805 crore Monday, provisional data showed.