Equity investors became poorer by over Rs 6.71 lakh crore on Thursday as domestic benchmark indices tumbled amid a global market meltdown.
The 30-share BSE benchmark Sensex tanked 1,416.30 points or 2.61 per cent to settle at 52,792.23, tracking weak global markets and persistent foreign fund outflows.
In line with the weak market trend, the market capitalisation of BSE-listed firms tumbled by Rs 6,71,051.73 crore to stand at Rs 2,49,06,394.08 crore.
"The rout in other Asian indices and European gauges triggered a massive sell-off in local equities as both Sensex and Nifty ended below their crucial psychological levels of 53k and 16k, respectively. Investors fretted over stagflation risks and Federal Reserve's more hawkish stance to rein in inflation by opting for more rate hikes, which would have a bigger impact on the economy going ahead.
"Till the time FIIs remain net sellers, the south-bound journey will be difficult to reverse," said Shrikant Chouhan, Head of Equity Research (Retail), Kotak Securities Ltd.
From the Sensex firms, Wipro, HCL Technologies, Infosys, TCS, Tech Mahindra, Tata Steel, IndusInd Bank and Kotak Mahindra Bank were the major laggards.
ITC, Dr Reddy's and PowerGrid were the only gainers.
Barring Shanghai, other Asian markets ended lower, with Seoul, Hong Kong and Tokyo losing up to 2.54 per cent.
Equity exchanges in Europe were also trading sharply lower in the afternoon session.
Stock markets in the US had ended deep in the red on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, international oil benchmark Brent crude declined 1.27 per cent to $107.7 per barrel.
Foreign institutional investors remained in selling mode, offloading shares worth a net Rs 1,254.64 crore on Wednesday, as per stock exchange data.
"Markets plunged sharply lower and lost over 2.6 per cent, pressurised by weak global cues.
"The meltdown in the US markets, on fear of aggressive rate hikes, rattled investors and triggered a weak start.
"The situation worsened further due to heavy selling in the index majors across sectors wherein IT and metal majors were among the top losers," said Ajit Mishra, VP - Research, Religare Broking Ltd.