Stock markets today witnessed a carnage triggered by a major sell-off by FIIs on MAT concerns and surging global crude prices that dragged down the Sensex by 723 points to its lowest level of 2015, while the rupee depreciated by 10 paise to close at 63.54 against the dollar.
Reflecting the free-fall in the stocks, the benchmark Sensex crashed below the psychological 27,000-level by tanking 722.77 points to 26,717.37.
This is the biggest single session fall in last four months after 855 points plunge on January 6. Besides, this is the second-biggest since Modi government took over on May 26, 2014.
Nifty index dipped below the crucial 8,100-mark by tumbling 227.80 points to 8,097 on massive selling by foreign funds and retail investors.
Both the indices closed at their lowest in the current calender year.
Equity brokers said a series of negative factors like slowdown in country's service sector in April, lingering tax issue, surge in global crude prices which might affect India's deficit as well as inflation, triggered massive selling on the bourses, dragging down the indices.
Besides, continued capital outflows by foreign funds, muted fourth quarter earnings by key bluechip companies and delaying in passage of GST and Land Acquisition bills too negatively impacted the market sentiment, they said.
Other Asian markets mostly fell as concern grew that new initial public offerings in China will divert funds from existing shares and overnight weakness in US marekts on huge six-year high trade deficits.
In the currency markets, the rupee lost another 10 paise to close at 1-week low of 63.54 against the US dollar following distinctly weak trend in local equities amid sustained capital outflows.
Sustained dollar demand from banks and importers amid a steep fall in local equities also weighed on the rupee value, said analysts.
Globally, Brent crude for June delivery rose 63 cents to USD 68.15 per barrel in afternoon trade.
On the other hand, gold showed a better trend in the domestic market on the back of wedding season demand from jewellers coupled with a firming global trend.
In the national capital, gold prices were up by Rs 130 to Rs 27,350 per ten gram, while at Chennai, the precious metal rose Rs 100 to Rs 27,240 per ten gram. At Mumbai, it closed higher by Rs 80 to Rs 27,005 per ten gram.