Stock markets today continued to wilt under heavy selling on rupee plummeting to new lows, with BSE Sensex slumping 291 points to over 4-month low and NSE Nifty diving 93 points to end at lowest level in 11 months - Bharti Airtel, ICICI Bank and State Bank of India (SBI) shares turned leading losers.
Investors remained rattled after RBI on August 14 unveiled stern measures, including curbs on Indian firms investing abroad. Sensex last Friday crashed by 769 points -- the worst fall in 4 years -- on fears that more steps will be announced to control capital outflows to shore up the unit.
Weakness in global markets and speculation over the US rolling back its economic stimulus package as early as next month also affected the sentiment.
Investors sentiment took a hit with rupee racing towards 63-level. The domestic currency was trading at its all-time of low of 62.8 in the late afternoon trade. Later, it breached 63-mark after stock markets closed for the day.
FII selling in shares of banks, auto, pharma and FMCG eroded Rs 1 lakh crore in investor wealth with Sensex ending at 18,307.52, a drop of 290.66 points or 1.56 per cent.
Similarly, the 50-issue NSE CNX Nifty also dipped by 93.10 points, or 1.69 per cent, to end at 5,414.75 -- the lowst since September 2012. Also, SX40 index closed down 201.76 points, or 1.82 per cent, at 10,881.76.
"No respite has been seen today despite assurance from the government that situation of 1991 shall not be repeated and condition is not worse. Banking and Auto stocks led the fall today," said Nidhi Saraswat, Senior Research Analyst, Bonanza Portfolio Ltd.
Banks were hit on concerns over mark-to-market losses on banks' portfolios, brokers said.
Bucking the weak trend, software exporting companies led by Infosys rose over one per cent on hopes the fall in rupee would improve their revenues.
Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs) sold shares worth a net Rs 563.23 crore on last Friday, as per provisional data from the stock exchanges.
Most Asian stocks ended lower for a third straight day as worries about the Federal Reserve Bank of India's (RBI) policy outlook and rising US Treasury yields weighed on