The Indian rupee plunged below the 68 level against the US dollar on Wednesday, marking a 28-month low amid renewed sell-off in the stock markets.

The rupee recovered later to close at 67.96 on a day when crude oil prices touched a fresh 12-year low and the Sensex and Nifty closed at 20-month low.

During the day, the Sensex slipped to below 23,000 for the first time since Narendra Modi came to power on 16 May, 2014.

On that day, the Sensex had soared 1,470 points during the day after it became clear that the BJP had won a clear majority to form a government.

The markets have been witnessing heavy selling by foreign portfolio investors (FPI) over worries about global growth. On 19 January, FPIs remained net sellers with Rs 857 crore, even though domestic institutional investors (DIIs) purchased equities worth Rs 1,386 crore on a net basis.

The S&P BSE Sensex closed at 24,062, down 417 points, or 1.71%, while the Nifty lost 125.80 points, or 1.69%, and closed at 7,309.30.

Top Sensex losers included Adani Ports, State Bank of India, Reliance Industries and Coal India, while a few gainers, though marginal, were Bajaj Auto, Hero Motocorp and Wipro.

Some of the prominent companies whose shares touched a new 52-week low included TCS, Nestle India, SAIL, Coal India and many public sector undertakings.