The markets ended weak with the benchmark index falling for the third consecutive session on the back of heavy selling by funds. It dropped 301 points or 1.8% to a six-week low of 16,348 levels by close.
In broader markets, the Nifty shed 71 points to 4,875 levels.
“The Sensex needs to sustain above 16,546 levels for a bounce back. Until it crosses 17,054 mark, it is better to avoid fresh positions and remain cautious,” said a technical analyst with Religare Securities.
In other Asian markets, Nikkei lost around 2.2% by mid-session while South Korea’s KOSPI tanked 1.7% to the lowest level since 24 April.
Back home, leading the pack of losers among the BSE 30 scrips were BHEL, Jaiprakash Associates and Ambuja Cements. The counters shed over 5% by close. ACC, Mahindra & Mahindra, Ranbaxy, Tata Motors, Maruti Suzuki, Reliance Industries and ITC Limited were some of the other key losers.
Reliance Communications skidded 5.1% to Rs543 after the company informed that it was in exclusive talks with South African telco MTN. However, Bharti Airtel that pulled out of the race to acquire MTN over the weekend witnessed fresh investor interest. The stock surged 3.2% or Rs26.
Among sectoral indices, the banking index, BANKEX, was among the worst hit that slipped 3.6%. Key losers in this space included Federal Bank, Allahabad Bank, Axis Bank, ICICI Bank, Indian Overseas Bank and State Bank of India.