Mumbai: Equities sank the most in six weeks as the Sensex crashed 267 points to close below 30,000 while the Nifty retreated from a life high amid a lower opening in Europe ahead of key US jobs data and slide in crude prices.
The 30-share Sensex hit a low of 29,823.60 before settling at 29,858.80, down 267.41 points, or 0.89 per cent, its biggest single day fall since March 22 when it had lost 317.77 points.
The index had risen by 231.41 points in the previous session, buoyed by reforms steps in the banking and infra space.
The 50-issue NSE, which surpassed its previous record of 9,367.15 (intra-day), reached on April 27, to scale a new high of 9,377.10 (intra-day), ended down 74.60 points, or 0.80 per cent at 9,285.30, mainly due to profit booking.
On a weekly basis, both the indices -- the Sensex and the Nifty -- fell by 59.60 points, or 0.19 per cent, and 18.75 points, or 0.20 per cent, during the first week of May.
Meanwhile, President Pranab Mukherjee has promulgated an ordinance authorising the Reserve Bank to issue directives to banks to initiate insolvency resolution process in the case of loan default. This will provide a big boost to the government's efforts to tackle mounting bad loans.
The ordinance has been issued in light of the urgency to deal with the toxic loans that have crossed the Rs 6 lakh crore mark.
Sentiment soured largely in tune with a weak trend in global markets following a drop in crude prices and fresh fall in commodities, including base metals, raising concerns about the health of the economy, traders said.