The BSE Sensex plunged 367 points in late sell-off on Tuesday amid weak global cues. Information technology, capital goods and auto stocks came under intense selling pressure.
The 30-scrip index of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) closed at 16,546.18 points, down 2.17 per cent, or 366.53 points, from its previous close of 16,912.71 points.
The Sensex touched a high of 16,918.31 points and a low of 16,502.91 points in the intra-day. The Sensex midcap was down by 78.69 points and smallcap fell by 57.53 points.
The Nifty also closed below the 5,000 level for the first time since mid-January.
Some analysts said the markets were hit also by the fall in the rupee, indicating that overseas investors may have offloaded some of their stocks.
IT stocks in particular were hit after investment bank JP Morgan downgraded the country's largest outsourcing firm Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) from 'overweight' to 'neutral'.
The IT index was down by 3.09 per cent. TCS was down by 5.77 per cent at Rs 1,200.35, followed by Wipro, down 1.89 per cent at Rs 404.15, and Infosys, down 1.59 per cent at Rs 2,391.95.
The banking index fell 2.84 per cent. Banking majors such as State Bank of India (SBI) fell by 3.32 per cent at Rs 1,958.95, HDFC Bank was down 3.14 per cent at Rs 515.45.
The auto index was down by 2.40 per cent. Tata Motors was down 3.88 per cent at Rs 296.35, Hero MotoCorp, down by 3.04 per cent at Rs 1,897.40, Mahindra and Mahindra, down by 2.05 per cent at Rs 676.90 and Bajaj Auto, down 1.42 per cent at Rs 1,493.95.
The capital goods index fell by 3.44 per cent. Other major Sensex losers included BHEL, down 4.86 per cent at Rs 216.15, ITC, down 3.97 per cent at Rs 227.30, Larsen and Toubro (L&T), 3.70 per cent at Rs 1,158.40 Sterlite Inds, down 3.46 per cent at Rs 99, Jindal Steel, down 3.29 per cent at Rs 484.70.
Only five companies out of the 30-scrip sensitive Sensex were gainers. These were: Coal India, up 2.04 per cent at Rs 334.90, Gail India, up 1.63 per cent at Rs 324, Hindalco Inds, up 1.16 per cent at Rs 117.40, Hindustan Uniliver, up 0.29 per cent at Rs 431.05 and DLF, up 0.16 per cent at Rs 190.05.
With IANS inputs