The 50-share index tanked 93.40 points, or 1.60 per cent to conclude at 5,761.35, logging its second biggest fall this year. Stocks from energy, financials, auto, pharma, FMCG, metal and infra sectors faced strong selling pressure, pulling down the index to levels not seen in several months.
Market got off to a sluggish start in the backdrop of world-wide sell-off and extended the slide as the day progressed. Once the key index broke the crucial support level of 5,800, it triggered panic unwinding from retail investors.
Though the Rail Budget seemed a non-event for the market, it reacted sharply after Railway Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal proposed a 5 per cent hike in fright rates and linked freight rates with fuel prices to cut mounting losses of the transport giant.
The Minister's comment that Railways is likely to post a loss of Rs 24,600 crore in FY13 against Rs 22,500 crore in last fiscal on account of passenger traffic further dampened the overall sentiment and intensified selling.
World stock market recorded heavy losses over concerns on Italian election outcome and looming spending cuts in US.
Amid frantic selling the worst performers from the Nifty pack included Ranbaxy, Bajaj Auto, Hindalco, HDFC, IDFC, Maruti, Tata Motors, Tata Steel, Coal India and ONGC. Mid and small-cap stocks were hammered mercilessly for the second day.
However, select technology and frontline heavyweights escaped the carnage and gained. These included TCS, Infosys, Grasim, Bharti, JP Associates, NTPC, Kotak Bank and HUL.
Turnover in the cash segment rose to Rs 10,469.34 crore from Rs 9,647.73 crore yesterday. A total of 6,354.71 lakh shares changed hands in 58,48,251 trades. The total market capitalisation stood at Rs 64,63,360 crore.