Mumbai: Markets ended in the red for the third consecutive week on chances of interest rate hike by US Federal Reserve in December as well as rise in domestic inflation and deceleration in industrial production.
A poor show of the BJP-led NDA in the Bihar Assembly elections also raised concerns among investor that the opposition parties may disrupt the Centre's economic reform process.
The S&P BSE Sensex slipped below the psychological 26,000-mark to close at 25,610.53, showing a loss of 654.71 or 2.49 percent.
The Sensex has dropped by 1,860.28 points or 6.77 percent in three weeks.
The NSE 50-share Nifty also dropped by 192.05 points or 2.41 percent to close at 7,762.25. It has tumbled by 533.20 points or 6.43 percent in three weeks.
The stock market remained closed on November 12 for Diwali, Balipratipada holiday.
Weakness in Asian markets triggered by disappointing Chinese economic data pulled Indian stocks sharply lower, with the Sensex falling below the psychological 26,000 level on Tuesday.
Key indices edged higher after a one hour special muhurat trading session on Wednesday to mark the start of Samvat 2072 , the new-year for the trading community. The Sensex rose 123.69 points or 0.48 percent to settle at 25,866.95.
Meanwhile, the government eased foreign direct investment (FDI) norms in key sectors to improve business environment and attract robust foreign investment to accelerate economic growth.