The benchmark BSE Sensex plunged over 313 points today to settle at 27,643.88 and the Nifty dived below the crucial 8,400 mark due to widespread profit-booking after recent gains amid lower-than-expected earnings numbers from ITC.
Renewed fears about an earlier-than-expected US rate hike weighed on sentiment too, brokers said.
The 30-share BSE index resumed on a shaky wicket and continued to decline to hit a low of 27,614.32 as selling intensified before settling at 27,643.88, down 313.62 points, or 1.12 per cent.
The gauge had gained 148.15 points in the previous session on Friday.
Of the 30-share Sensex pack, 26 ended lower while ONGC, Bharti Airtel, Wipro and M&M advanced.
The 50-issue Nifty slipped below 8,400 level by falling 88.70 points, or 1.05 per cent, to close at 8,370.25. Intraday, it shuttled between 8,364.15 and 8,441.95.
Investors who had been accumulating stocks in the past few sessions on hopes of a rate cut by the Reserve Bank of India were seen trimming positions after earnings numbers from some blue-chips failed to meet expectations of the Street.
Shares of diversified group ITC fell 3.29 per cent after its March quarter earnings did not cheer investors.
ITC on Friday reported a modest 3.65 per cent rise in standalone net profit at Rs 2,361.18 crore for the fourth quarter ended March 2015.
Vedanta lost most among Sensex and Nifty stocks, which tumbled 3.59 per cent to Rs 200, as Goldman Sachs said in its report that copper demand will fall in coming 12 months on weak commodity demand growth in China, lower oil prices and a a stronger dollar.
Other major losers were HDFC, Tata Steel, GAIL, Cipla, Tata Motors, SBI, Coal India, Dr Reddy’s Lab, Hindalco, Axis Bank, L&T, Hind Unilever, Tata Power, Infosys, RIL, NTPC, TCS, Hero MotoCorp, ICICI Bank, Bajaj Auto, HDFC Bank and BHEL.
The broader markets too saw profit-booking by investors. The BSE smallcap index ended the day with a fall of 0.22 per cent while the midcap index was down 0.08 per cent.
A weak trend at European markets in the morning session and a hardening dollar after the US Federal Reserve indicated that the central bank is on track to raise interest rates this year dampened sentiment.
Sector-wise, BSE metal index suffered the most by falling 1.70 per cent, followed by FMCG (1.62 per cent), capital goods (0.87 per cent), IT (0.74 per cent), banking (0.69 per cent), healthcare (0.60 per cent), realty (0.45 per cent), auto (0.28 per cent) and power (0.16 per cent).
Last Friday, foreign portfolio investors and domestic institutional investors (DIIs) net bought shares worth Rs 211.42 crore and Rs 237.62 crore, respectively, according to provisional stock exchange data.