The Sensex nosedived over 1,150 points while the Nifty crashed below the 16,000-level on Thursday, extending their losing streak to the fifth straight session, as world markets were unnerved by elevated US inflation which triggered concerns of accelerated rate hikes.
The forex market too bore the brunt of heightened risk aversion, with the rupee plunging to a fresh lifetime low of 77.63 per US dollar intra-day amid foreign capital outflows.
The 30-share BSE Sensex tumbled 1,158.08 points or 2.14 per cent to finish at an over two-month low of 52,930.31.
Similarly, the broader NSE Nifty tanked 359.10 points or 2.22 per cent to 15,808.
Barring Wipro, all Sensex constituents finished in the red.
IndusInd Bank lost 5.82 per cent, followed by Tata Steel, Bajaj Finance, Bajaj Finserv, Axis Bank, HDFC Bank, HDFC, Titan and L&T.
In value terms, HDFC twins and Reliance Industries were the top drags on the benchmark.
Global markets were hammered by a fresh wave of selling after US reported consumer inflation of 8.3 per cent in April, slightly lower than the level in March but still way beyond the Federal Reserve’s target of 2 per cent.
”Yesterday’s release of higher-than-expected US CPI data suggests that the inflationary pressure will persist in the near term. However, it is presumed to have peaked and will gradually decline in-line with the ongoing fall in crude and other commodity prices, and slowdown in the economy.
”The Fed surprised the market with a hawkish stance, limiting liquidity, which limits further setbacks in the future. We can expect the market to stabilize as FIIs may reduce selling factoring inflation and Fed policy,” said Vinod Nair, Head of Research at Geojit Financial Services.
Domestic investors also remained on the sidelines ahead of release of inflation and IIP data.
”Markets continue to remain under pressure in sync global markets,” said Sahaj Agrawal, Head of Research- Derivatives at Kotak Securities.
In the broader market, the BSE midcap gauge tanked 2.24 per cent and smallcap went lower by 1.96 per cent.
All BSE sectoral indices ended with losses, with power falling 4.11 per cent, followed by utilities (3.90 per cent), metal (3.75 per cent), bank (3.14 per cent), finance (3.14 per cent) and telecom (2.81 per cent).
A total of 2,614 stocks declined, while 747 advanced and 86 remained unchanged.
Elsewhere in Asia, markets in Tokyo, Hong Kong, Seoul and Shanghai settled sharply lower.
Equity markets in Europe were quoting with sharp cuts in the afternoon session.
Stock exchanges in the US had ended lower on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, international oil benchmark Brent crude declined 2.02 per cent to USD 105.7 per barrel.
Continuing their selling spree, foreign institutional investors offloaded shares worth Rs 3,609.35 crore on Wednesday, according to stock exchange data.