The equity benchmark Sensex on Monday dived about 346 points owing to an intense fag-end selling mainly in auto and energy stocks as fresh worries about weakening rupee and rising crude oil prices resurfaced.
Similarly, the NSE Nifty fell by 103 points to 10,482.20 points. The benchmark Brent crude snapped its four-day losing streak and rose 2.09 per cent to 71.62 per barrel after Saudi Arabia, the world's top crude exporter, said on Sunday it will cut oil output from next month, as major producers held a key meeting to discuss shoring up sliding prices.
Further impacting domestic market sentiments, the Indian rupee again breached the 73-mark, dropping 57 paise (intra-day) to 73.07 against the dollar.
Besides, a caution prevailed among investors ahead of key macro data -- the index of industrial production (IIP) for September and CPI inflation for October -- to be released later in the day. Mixed leads from most other Asian markets and a lower opening of European shares too fuelled the downtrend.
"Markets failed to hold the early gains and lost nearly a per cent, pressurised by weak global cues. Participants were in profit-taking mood from the beginning and mostly sectoral indices traded in tandem with the benchmark index. The decline was widespread and broader market indices too ended with a loss of nearly a per cent each," an analyst said.
The 30-share Sensex opened on a strong footing at 35,287.49 and advanced to scale a high of 35,333.22 in line with a firming trend at other Asian markets and fresh inflows of funds by foreign investors.
However, profit-booking by investors at better prices wiped out initial gains and the Sensex slipped to a low of 34,756.80 before settling 345.56 points, or 0.98 per cent, down at 34,812.99. During the volatile session, it swung over 576 points on alternate bouts of hectic buying and selling.
The gauge had lost 79.13 points on Friday. The broader NSE Nifty slipped below the 10,500-mark by falling 103 points, or 0.97 per cent, at 10,482.20. It touched a high of 10,645.50 and a low of 10,464.05 during the day.
Meanwhile, on a net basis, foreign funds bought shares worth a net Rs 614.14 crore, while domestic institutional investors (DIIs) sold shares to the tune of Rs 337.28 crore on Friday, provisional data showed. Selling was more pronounced in auto, oil and gas, PSU and banking stocks which dragged the indices into the negative zone.
Among Sensex constituents, Tata Motors was the worst hit, plunging 4.84 per cent, followed by Hero MotoCorp at 3.82 per cent. Other laggards include PowerGrid 2.87 per cent, Maruti Suzuki 2.64 per cent, Adani Ports 2.61 per cent, Vedanta Ltd 2.59 per cent, Yes Bank 2.24 per cent, M&M 2.06 per cent, SBI 1.86 per cent, Bajaj Auto 1.80 per cent, Asian Paint 1.74 per cent, Coal India 1.55 per cent, HDFC Bank 1.35 per cent and RIL 1.34 per cent.
Also, ITC Ltd, HDFC Ltd, Sun Pharma, Axis Bank, Bharti Airtel, NTPC, HUL, ICICI Bank, IndusInd Bank, Wipro and ONGC succumbed to selling pressure and lost up to 1.23 per cent.
In contrast, Tata Steel, Kotak Bank, Infosys, TCS and L&T emerged gainers, rising up to 1.67 per cent. Shares of oil marketing companies and aviation operators came under selling pressure after the international benchmark Brent crude again breached the USD 71-mark.
State-run HPCL, IOC and BPCL lost up to 7 per cent. In the aviation space, shares of Jet Airways and Interglobe lost up to 5.43 per cent. Sector-wise, the BSE auto index was the worst performer by slumping 2.31 per cent, followed by oil&gas 1.94 per cent, PSU 1.92 per cent, power 1.86 per cent, realty 1.60 per cent, metal 1.33 per cent, infrastructure 1.03 per cent, bankex 0.84 per cent, FMCG 0.75 per cent, healthcare 0.72 per cent and capital goods 0.43 per cent.
However, consumer durables index remained on the top by rising 1.38 per cent and IT by 0.46 per cent. Globally, in the Asian region, Korea's KOSPI fell 0.27 per cent, while Japan's Nikkei moved up 0.09 per cent.
Shanghai Composite Index rose 1.22 per cent and Hong Kong's Hang Seng gained 0.12 per cent. In the eurozone, Frankfurt's DAX down 0.78 per cent and Paris CAC 40 fell 0.28 per cent in their early trade.