Equity benchmark Sensex fell more than 949 points on Monday amid rising cases of the newly-discovered mutated variant of the coronavirus, Omicron over the weekend.
The 30-share BSE Sensex closed 949.32 points or 1.65 per cent lower at 56,747.14. NSE Nifty closed 284.45 points or 1.65 per cent lower at 16,912.25.
All Sensex components ended the day in red on Monday. IndusInd Bank emerged as the top loser, closing 3.75 per cent lower. Bajaj Finserv closed 3.43 per cent lower. Among other prominent names, Bharti Airtel, Tata Consultancy Services, HCL Tech and Tech Mahindra too closed in the red.
Nifty closed 1.65 per cent or 284.45 points lower at 16,912.25.
"Indices started the day weak and selling intensified during afternoon trade with almost all sectoral indices ending in the red," said S Ranganathan, Head of Research at LKP Securities.
In a separate development, RBI began its three-day deliberations to decide on their next move concerning the benchmark interest rates amid the global scare caused by the new mutated variant of the coronavirus.
It would emerge as the ninth consecutive instance of maintaining the status quo on interest rates should the RBI decide to keep the interest rates unchanged. The central bank had last revised the policy rate on May 22, 2020, in an off-policy cycle to perk up demand by cutting the interest rate to a historic low.
Elsewhere in Asia, bourses in Shanghai, Hong Kong and Tokyo ended with losses, while Seoul was positive.
Equities in Europe were trading on a positive note in mid-session deals.
Meanwhile, international oil benchmark Brent crude rose 2.23 per cent to $71.44 per barrel.
(With inputs from Outlook Business)