Market crumbles; rupee sinks to 66.49 against dollar

The benchmark Sensex today took the bloodiest blow of its lifetime, crashing 1,624.51 points -- its biggest single-day fall -- ending below 26,000 on heavy outflows as the rupee sank 82 paise to a fresh 2-year low of 66.65.

The index ended the day 5.94 per cent down at 25,741.56 points as jittery investors sold off shares across all sectors including energy, banking, auto, IT, infrastructure and real estate.

The barometer has now retreated by 2,190.08 in three straight sessions.

The broader NSE Nifty cracked below the 7,900-mark by tanking 490.95 points, or 5.92 per cent, to 7,809 at close.

The total investor wealth, measured in terms of cumulative market value of all listed stocks, plunged nearly Rs 7 lakh crore, which crashed below Rs 100-lakh crore mark to end the day at Rs 95,28,536 crore.

Brokers put down the massive fall to the meltdown in global markets, with Asian bourses ending in deep red.

Shanghai shares closed 8.49 per cent down while European markets were weaker by close to 3 per cent in early trade as slowdown in China stoked concerns about the health of its economy and rattled investors.

Global crude oil too went below the USD 40 per barrel mark amid weak Chinese manufacturing growth and global oversupply.

Extending its two-week winning streak, gold surged Rs 150 to hit a three-month high of Rs 27,575 per 10 grams in the national capital on seasonal buying by jewellers as investors fled stock market.

In the forex market, the rupee crashed below the crucial 66 mark by falling 90 paise to close at a two-year low of 66.73 against the dollar (intra-day) due to heavy demand for the US currency from importers and some banks.

Foreign portfolio investors net sold shares worth Rs 2,340.60 crore on Friday, as per provisional data.

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