Mumbai: Equity benchmark Sensex on Tuesday plunged nearly 624 points, the steepest single-day fall in over a month, dragged by losses across the board as long-lasting trade war, Hong Kong protests and Argentine currency crash further spooked investors.
Apart from global concerns, investors remained jittery over domestic macro challenges amid slowing down of the economy and falling consumer demand in various sectors.
The NSE gauge Nifty too tumbled nearly 184 points to settle below the key 11,000-level.
Bucking the overall downtrend, shares of Reliance Industries (RIL) rallied nearly 10 per cent, capping the Sensex loss to a large extent.
After diving nearly 700 points in the fag-end of the session, the 30-share Sensex settled 623.75 points, or 1.66 per cent, lower at 36,958.16. It hit an intra-day low of 36,888.49 and a high of 37,755.16.
While the NSE Nifty slumped 183.80 points, or 1.65 per cent, to 10,925.85. During the day, it hit a low of 10,901.60 and a high of 11,145.90.
Top losers in the Sensex pack included Yes Bank, M&M, Bajaj Finance, Bharti Airtel, HDFC, Maruti, Tata Steel and L&T, cracking up to 10.35 per cent.
On the other hand, RIL rallied 9.72 per cent to become the biggest gainer, after Mukesh Ambani on Monday announced plans to sell stakes in the firm's oil and chemicals business to Saudi oil giant Aramco and in fuel retail network to BP plc for Rs 1.15 lakh crore, and said its telecom unit Jio will begin offering fibre-based broadband services from next month.
Sun Pharma and PowerGrid were other two stocks that ended in the green.
Sectorally, BSE telecom, auto, capital goods, finance, teck, power, industrials and IT indices ended up to 4.34 per cent lower.
While, BSE energy and oil and gas indices closed in the green, rallying up to 5.98 per cent.
Broader BSE midcap and smallcap indices cracked up to 2.25 per cent.
Continuing their bearish outlook, foreign investors sold equities worth Rs 638.28 crore on a net basis on Tuesday.
Further, sell-offs are all pervasive across the sectors fuelled by less-than-inspiring Indian corporate results and weakening rupee, market experts opined.
Auto stocks plunged after SIAM reported that automobile sales in India witnessed its sharpest decline in nearly 19 years in July, dropping 18.71 per cent, rendering almost 15,000 workers jobless over the past two-three months.
Amid slowing down of the economy and falling consumer demands across various sectors, the industry has been expecting from the government some relief measures.
Market participants are eagerly awaiting any pro-market measures by Indian government post their extensive consultations with various stakeholders over the previous week, analysts said.
Despite the best performance in a decade on the back of pro-investor statements by RIL chairman Mukesh Ambani at the annual general meeting, Relaince stock couldn't save the day for Indian markets, they added.
"Markets have been tagging-along global markets in palpable risk-off sentiment due to multiple challenges of intensification of US-China trade war, sell-off in Argentina and Hong Kong markets," said Jagannadham Thunuguntla, senior VP and Head of Research (Wealth), Centrum Broking.
Asian markets ended significantly lower amid global trade war concerns and increasingly violent demonstrations in Hong Kong. The Hang Seng cracked 2.10 per cent, Shanghai Composite Index fell 0.63 per cent, Kospi 0.85 per cent and Nikkei ended 1.11 per cent lower.
Equities in Europe were trading in the red in early deals.
Meanwhile, the Indian rupee depreciated by 62 paise to 71.40 against the US dollar on Tuesday.
Brent crude futures, the global oil benchmark, rose 0.51 per cent to USD 58.27 per barrel.