The benchmark BSE Sensex plummeted over 368 points to close at 35,657 due to selling across the board on the bourse amid volatile market sentiment days ahead of the Union Budget, which is widely believed to have some populist announcements.
Also, the NSE Nifty tumbled 119 points to end at 10,661.55 amid weak global cues.
Markets feel the populist measures in the upcoming budget will stray the government from fiscal consolidation path — triggering a caution among investors.
A heavy selling pressure emerged mainly in banking, auto and consumer durables stocks — pulling down their shares by as much as 5.46 per cent on the BSE.
Overall, weak set of earnings from auto firms and selling in banks marked the tone of domestic indices.
The Sensex touched an intra-day high of 36,124.26 and low of 35,565.15. It finished 368.84 points, or 1.02 per cent, down at 35,656.70.
While, the broader NSE Nifty touched a high of 10,804.45 during the day and fell to a low of 10,630.95. It finally ended 119, or 1.10 per cent, down at 10,661.55.
Among the Sensex losers, Yes Bank tumbled 5.46 per cent, followed by Bajaj Finance 5.40, ICICI Bank 3.82 per cent, IndusInd Bank 3.10 per cent and HeromotoCorp 2.55 per cent.
Besides domestic factors, concerns related to ongoing US-China trade tussle kept investors jittery.
“Global macro concerns are front and centre today, as investors focus on the Fed meeting, and US. China trade talks take centre stage. Markets across the globe remained weak and Indian markets were no exception with a 1.1 per cent fall in Nifty and 2.1 per cent fall in Midcap index,” Sunil Sharma, Chief Investment Officer, Sanctum Wealth Management, said.
The BSE Sensex had Friday lost 169 points. In the last two sessions, it has lost 537 points.
The Indian rupee remained under pressure trading at 71.11 per US dollar and it has struggled to appreciate beyond 71 in recent days, he said.
Other losers on the Sensex were — Sun Pharma, Bajaj Auto, Vedanta, Axis Bank, ITC, Tata Steel, HDFC, Mahindra and Mahindra, Reliance, SBI, Tata Motors, Baharti Airtel, HUL, HDFC Bank, Kotak Bank, Infosys, ONGC and Maruti.
Bucking the trend, TCS emerged as the biggest gainer with 1.71 per cent gain on the Sensex. Other winners were Coal India, Larsen and Toubro, PowerGrid, Asian Paint, HCL Tech and NTPC — rising up to 1.51 per cent.