Mumbai: Sinking to its lowest level in over 4 months, benchmark Sensex today crashed about 699 points, its biggest single-day fall since February 11, to drop below the key 27,000-level on sustained foreign fund outflows combined with weakening trend globally.
Besides, the rupee breaching the 67-mark against the US dollar by plunging 59 paise to 67.22 (intra-day) at the forex market too had its bearing.
Offloading of positions by cautious participants ahead of September IIP data, to be released later in the day, also added to weakened sentiment.
Investors seemed to be cautious on fears that US President-elect Donald Trump's planned huge spending policies would be inflationary which may lead to higher US interest rates and dent the appeal of emerging markets, equity brokers said.
The Sensex after opening lower at 27,344.85 continued to slide on heavy selling pressure in blue-chips, forcing the index to touch a low of 26,777.18 before settling at
26,818.82, down 698.86 points, or 2.54 percent, its biggest single-day fall since February 11 when it had lost 807.07. This was the weakest closing since June 29, 2016.
The gauge had rallied 265.15 points in the previous session.
The 50-share NSE Nifty broke 8,300-mark after plunging 229.45 points, or 2.69 percent, to 8,296.30, its lowest closing since June 30.
For the week, the Sensex dropped 455.33 points, or 1.66 percent, while the Nifty lost 137.45 points, or 1.62 percent.
The fall was so widespread that 29 Sensex stocks closed with losses including M&M, Adani Ports, ICICI Bank, Tata Motors, Hero MotoCorp, Asian Paint, HDFC Ltd, Maruti Suzuki, GAIL, Bajaj Auto, Power Grid and TCS, falling up to 6.02 percent.
Only Sun Pharma ended in the green territory by recording a rise of 3.30 percent on the back of better-than-expected quarterly earnings.
Weak earnings from country's largest lender SBI and other bluechip companies also affected the market sentiment, a broker said.
SBI today reported 99.6 percent dip in consolidated net profit at Rs 20.7 crore for the September quarter. SBI shares slumped 3.09 percent.
Foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) sold shares worth Rs 733.49 crore yesterday, as per provisional data.
Other Asian markets also ended mixed with Hong Kong's Hang Seng falling 1.35 percent, while Japan's Nikkei rose 0.18 percent. Shanghai Composite Index up 0.78 percent. European shares were also lower with indices in UK and France were down in their early deals.