The BSE Sensex snapped its three-session gaining streak on Tuesday, nosediving by 590 points to close below 18,000-mark, as operators sold heavily after the Indian rupee breached the 66-mark against the US dollar.
Chaos returned to D-Street after heavy selling by foreign funds further aggravated the situation. According to provisional data with the stock exchanges, foreign institutional investors (FIIs) sold shares worth Rs 607.43 crore.
The 30-share index of the Bombay Stock Exchange remained in negative terrain since opening and touched a low of 17,921.82, before concluding at 17,968.08, revealing a fall of 590.05 points, or 3.18 per cent. In the last straight three sessions, it had gained 652.22 points, or 3.64 per cent.
Similarly, the 50-share Nifty of the National Stock Exchange also slumped by 189.05 points, or 3.45 per cent, to end at more-than 11 and a half month low of 5,287.45.
Selling was seen across-the-board as 12 of the 13 sectoral indices closed in the red - between 0.53 per cent and 5.34 per cent - with banking, capital goods, power, realty and PSU sectors taking the lead in downslide.
Housing loan provider HDFC and private banking major HDFC Bank lost heavily and both closed down by almost 8 per cent, together contributing over 200 points to the Sensex fall.
The Indian rupee continued its downslide as it fell 194 paise, or 3.02 per cent, to close at life-time low of 66.24 versus the US dollar on Tuesday on month-end dollar demand from importers, sustained capital outflows and on concerns over the passage of the Food Security Bill in the Lok Sabha, which would raise fears that the government might face more subsidy burden, leading to widening of the current account deficit.
With inputs from PTI