Snapping its three-session winning run, benchmark BSE Sensex plunged by around 599 points to crack below the key 51,000-level on Thursday due to heavy selling in financial, energy and IT stocks amid a meltdown in global shares.
Asian and European markets tumbled as another rise in US bond yields fanned fears of higher inflation that may prompt central banks to raise interest rates.
Intra-day, the 30-share BSE barometer fell as much as 905 points before ending the session at 50,846.08, showing a decline of 598.57 points or 1.16 per cent. Of 30 Sensex shares, 25 closed with losses.
The broader NSE Nifty closed down by 164.85 points or 1.08 per cent at 15,080.75 with 38 of its constituents ending in the red zone.
On the Sensex chart, HDFC, L&T, SBI, Axis Bank, Bajaj FinServ and HDFC Bank were major laggards.
Mortgage major HDFC fell the most by 2.62 per cent. Bajaj Finserv dropped 2.49 per cent, SBI by 2.28 per cent, Axis Bank by 2.24 per cent, HDFC Bank by 2.1 per cent and ICICI Bank by 1.73 per cent.
Larsen & Toubro declined by 2.31 per cent, NTPC by 1.6 per cent, Bharti Airtel by 1.24 per cent and Reliance by 1.17 per cent. IT stocks Infosys, Tech Mahindra, HCL Tech, and TCS also saw losses of up to 1 per cent.
"Domestic equities traded lower today mainly on weak global cues…Financials and Metals indices were keg drags today, while FMCG, Pharma and IT indices were resilient. A sharp 6 bps rise in 10-Year USA treasury yield made investors jittery today,” said Binod Modi, Head - Strategy at Reliance Securities.
Over the previous three sessions, the Sensex had risen by 2,344.66 points or 4.77 per cent, while the Nifty had added 716.45 points or 4.93 per cent.
UltraTech Cement bucked the trend and rose by 4.07 per cent to become lead gainer among Sensex stocks. DrReddy rose by 1.63 per cent, Asian Paint by 0.65 per cent while Maruti and HUL also advanced.
BSE Midcap index also advanced 0.48 per cent while Smallcap index rose by 0.80 per cent. But largecap followed the benchmark to end lower by 0.46 per cent.
Among sectoral indices, BSE metal emerged as the top loser with 2.31 per cent drop. BSE finance declined 1.46 per cent and bank by 1.45 per cent.
Of 19 sectoral indices, 11 ended in the red.
Vinod Nair, Head of Research at Geojit Financial Services said, "Domestic markets along with its global peers mirrored the wounded trend of the US market. The surge in US bond yields added selling pressure in technology stocks, forced Wall Street to close lower.
"Blue-chips were much affected by the weak global cues, but Mid & Small caps with its increased investor confidence retained its positive momentum".
S Ranganathan, Head of Research at LKP Securities commented that markets traded weak on muted global cues despite heightened investor interest in PSU stocks on hopes of privatisation and asset monetisation.
Modi opined that the concerns over rising bond yields are short lived and any immediate correction in the market will only create an opportunity for investors to buy quality stocks at reasonable valuations.
Foreign investors had bought equities worth Rs 2,088.70 crore on a net basis in Indian capital markets on Wednesday, according to exchange data.
Among Asian markets, Japan's Nikkei 225 dropped 2.1 per cent and the Hang Seng in Hong Kong fell 2.2 per cent. The Shanghai Composite index dropped 2.1 per cent.
On the forex market front, the rupee ended 11 paise lower at 72.83 against the US dollar.
Meanwhile, global crude oil benchmark Brent was trading 1.16 per cent higher at USD 64.73 per barrel.