Mumbai: Stocks suffered their worst crash in several months as the benchmark CNX Nifty Monday tanked by a massive 127 points to close below the key 6,000 level at the National Stock Exchange (NSE) after disappointing trade deficit raised worries about economic recovery.
FMCG, financial, metal, auto and capital goods shares were the worst performers as investors booked profits after last week's spectacular rally which sent the 50-share index to its 28-month high.
The sentiment took a big hit after the country's April trade deficit surged to USD 17.8 billion on back of massive spike in gold import amid concerns that the worsening current account deficit would offset easing inflationary pressure.
Trading began on a sluggish note with selling seen in select frontline stocks and cautious mood ahead of retail inflation data. Weak rupee sentiment too weighed on sentiment.
However, market turned volatile as sell-off accelerated with the benchmark index sliding below 6,000 on heavy unwinding from domestic players.
Lower-than-expected Q4 earnings from state-owned banks and worsening asset quality further dampened investor mood. Even a sharp dip in retail inflation, which dropped to 9.39 percent in April, failed to lift the sentiment.
Globally, most Asian market ended higher with Japan's benchmark Nikkei index hitting a fresh five-and-a-half-year peak. European stocks were weak, extending their weekend selling, ahead of eurozone Finance Ministers' meet.
The Nifty nosedived to hit a low of 5,972.90 before closing at 5,980.45, showing a massive slide of 126.80 points, or 2.08 percent, over the last close.
ITC topped the losers' list with the stock crashing by over 5 percent. Other notable losers from the Nifty index included Reliance Infra, Bharti Airtel, Tata Steel, Sesa Goa, L&T, JP Associates, BHEL, Indusind Bank and ACC.