Mumbai: Stocks crumbled for the second straight day on frenzied selling as weak global equity environment continued to mar investors' confidence, with the benchmark Nifty sliding 33 points Thursday to close below the 7,300 mark on National Stock Exchange (NSE) here.
The initial strong recovery momentum proved to be short-lived as jittery investors preferred to book profits and decided to play safe in the midst of falling oil prices and heightened anxieties over slowing global growth.
Moreover, depreciating rupee, which again breached the 68 mark against the dollar, dampened the overall sentiment.
After a bruising session overnight, market rebounded on a strong note with firm buying in beaten down counters as well as heavy short covering.
But the initial euphoria ended suddenly and bourses succumbed to heavy profit-taking at higher levels amid sharp sell-off in other Asian markets.
The session saw wild fluctuations with the key index swinging nearly 150 points.
The sudden heavy selling an hour before market close was largely triggered by some margin calls, a floor trader said.
The 50-share Nifty resumed firmly higher at 7,376.65 and fluctuated between a high of 7,398.70 and a low of 7,250 before ending at 7,276.80, a loss of 32.50 points, or 0.44 percent.
This is the first time since May 30, 2014 that the benchmark has closed below the psychological 7,300 barrier.
Sector-wise, healthcare tumbled by 2.31 percent, followed by auto (1.92 percent), energy (1.62 percent), FMCG (1.55 percent), metal (0.86 percent) and infra (0.60 percent).
However, bucking the trend, PSU Bank recouped 1.55 percent, followed by Nifty Bank (1.11 percent), media (0.73 percent) and IT (0.22 percent).
Mid-cap and small-cap too ended in the positive terrain.
Major index laggards were Reliance, Tata Motors, Maruti, Sun Pharma, TCS, HUL, Dr Reddys, ITC, Bosch, Idea, ONGC, HDFC, L&T, Cipla, Coal India, M&M, Power Grid and BPCL.
Axis Bank was the biggest gainer from the Nifty pack after the private lender reported 15 percent growth in December quarter. Other movers were Infosys, ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank, UltraTech Cement, SBI, Wipro, Ambuja Cement and Yes Bank.
Turnover in cash segment moved to Rs 18,082.19 crore from Rs 18,064.10 crore yesterday. A total of 10,277.29 lakh shares changed hands in 79,56,017 trades.
The market capitalisation of NSE stood at Rs 88,36,084 crore.