Mumbai: Breaking its two-day rally, the BSE Sensex tumbled 192 points to end below the 26,000-mark on Thursday after the rupee collapsed to a life-time low against the dollar amid continued foreign fund outflows.
Investors remained cautious in the face of expiry of November series contracts in the derivatives segment, which also dampened sentiment.
The rupee plunged to a fresh life-time low of 68.86 (intra-day) against the dollar by crashing 30 paise, surpassing its previous low of 68.85 tested on August 28, 2013.
The Sensex resumed lower at 26,049.14 and continued its slide to touch a low of 25,810.97 as selling intensified and dropped further to 25,810.97 before ending at 25,860.17, showing a loss of 191.64 points or 0.74 per cent.
The broader NSE Nifty, after crashing below the key 8,000-mark to hit a low of 7,952.55, finally ended 67.80 points, or 0.84 per cent, lower at 7,965.50.
It had gained 104.20 points or 1.31 per cent in two days.
"Continued weakness in rupee against dollar, last hour of expiry square-off and the disruptions in Rajya Sabha debate over demonetisation dragged the market," said Vinod Nair, Head of Research, Geojit BNP Paribas Financial Services.
Participants offloaded their long bets in futures and options (F&O) segment instead of carrying them forward to the next series for December.
Foreign funds sold shares net Rs 1,023.12 crore yesterday, as per provisional figures issued by the stock exchanges.
Investors fear that upbeat US economic data has strengthened the case for a rate hike in the US, sparking capital outflows from emerging markets.
The US stock market will remain closed today, November 24, on account of Thanksgiving holiday.
Globally, Hong Kong's Hang Seng fell 0.30 per cent, while Japan's Nikkei rose 0.94 per cent. Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.02 per cent.
European shares too were trading mixed, with London's FTSE falling 0.14 per cent, while Paris CAC-30 gaining 0.15 per cent in early deals. Frankfurt's DAX was up 0.05 per cent.
The BSE Mid-Cap index provisionally fell 0.13 per cent, while the small-cap index dropped 0.11 per cent.
A total of 20 scrips in the 30-share Sensex pack ended lower, while 10 closed higher.
Major losers were Tata Motors (3.89 per cent), Axis Bank (2.59 per cent), Sun Pharma (2.49 per cent), M&M (2.41 per cent), Gail (2.18 per cent), Adani Ports (2.07 per cent), ICICI Bank (2.02 per cent), NTPC (1.97 per cent), Lupin (1.82 per cent), Reliance (1.65 per cent), HDFC Bank (1.52 per cent) and Maruti (0.88 per cent).
However, Power Grid rose by 1.92 per cent, followed by Baja Auto 1.69 per cent, Tata Steel 1.50 per cent, TCS 1.38 per cent, Infosys 1.33 per cent, Hero MotoCorp 1.22 per cent and SBI 1.14 per cent.
Among BSE sectoral indices, Bankex fell 1.45 per cent, followed by auto (1.34 per cent), realty (1.25 per cent), finance (1.11 per cent), healthcare (1.03 per cent), energy (0.92 per cent), consumer durables (0.85 per cent) and industrials (0.81 per cent).
However, IT rose by 1.23 per cent and Teck 0.73 per cent.
Market breadth remained positive as 1,341 stocks ended higher, 1,215 finished in red while 168 ruled steady.
Total turnover on BSE stood at Rs 2,481.01 crore, lower than Rs 2,499.34 crore registered yesterday.