Mumbai: BSE Sensex dived for a third straight session Monday to hit an over two-week low as investors cut down exposure after India's factory output fell in April amid continued global sell-off on growing anxiety over the future of Britain in the European Union.
Moreover, the rupee again breaching the 67-level against the dollar weighed on trading sentiment.
Mid-cap and small-cap indices fell 0.50 percent and 0.45 percent, respectively, on sustained selling pressure from retail investors.
Government data on Friday showed that industrial output contracted 0.8 percent in April, the first decline in three months, due to drastic fall in capital goods production. Participants also took a cautious line ahead of the release of consumer inflation data.
"Expectations of CPI having risen more than previous month may also have added to bearish cues, especially after the RBI governor airing his concerns in the recently concluded monetary policy review," said Anand James Chief Market Strategist of Geojit BNP Paribas Financial Services Ltd.
Global markets also continued to fall on renewed worries over the fate of Britain in the European Union, as also upcoming meetings of central banks in the US and Japan.
"With global visibility reducing, investors looking for domestic cues, would be eyeing the finance ministers' meet in Kolkata on 14-15 June on GST, as well as revenue Gyan Sangam on 16-17 June," added James.
The BSE Sensex stayed in the negative zone through out the day and touched a low of 26,262.27 before winding up 238.98 points or 0.90 percent down at 26,396.77, its weakest closing since May 26. The index had fallen by 384.91 points in the previous two sessions.
The 50-issue NSE Nifty tumbled 59.45 points or 0.73 percent to close 8,110.60 after cracking below the 8100-level to hit a low of 8,063.90.
ICICI Bank suffered the most by diving 3.38 per cent to Rs 244.10 followed Tata Steel at 3.33 percent to Rs 323.80.
In regional markets, Japanese stocks led decline by diving 3.51 percent to a two-month low in Asian equities as rally in the yen hammered exporters. Key indices in China, Hong Kong and Singapore dropped by up to 3.21 percent.
European markets were also lower as the key indexes in France, Germany and the UK were down in the range of 0.28 percent to 1.25 percent.
Back home, out of the 30-share Sensex pack, 21 scrips ended lower.
Major losers included Tata Motors 2.83 percent, Bhel (2.67 percent), Bharti Airtel (2.52 percent), ONGC (2.16 percent), SBI (1.94 percent), HDFC (1.91 percent), Axis Bank (1.80 percent), NTPC (1.59 percent), Larsen (1.49 percent), Cipla (1.48 percent) and M&M (1.26 percent).
However, Lupin rose by 1.12 percent followed by Dr Reddy's (0.70 percent), Sun Pharma (0.60 percent) and GAIL (0.49 percent).
Among the BSE sectoral indices, realty fell by 1.32 percent followed by infra 1.31 percent, banking 1.29 percent, capital goods 1.17 percent, power 1.17 percent, metal 1.09 percent and auto 0.96 percent
The market breadth remained negative as 1,474 stocks ended lower, 1,108 closed higher while 162 ruled steady.
Meanwhile, Foreign portfolio investors bought shares worth net Rs 201.32 crore last Friday, as per provisional data.
The total turnover rose to around Rs 2,617 crore from Rs 2,370.40 crore on last Friday.