Soaring crude oil prices, higher inflation and political uncertainty dealt a strong blow to the Indian markets with the benchmark index shedding 500 points to 12,961 levels by close.
It is the first time since 12 April 2007 that the Sensex closed below 13,000 levels. In broader markets, the Nifty tumbled 144 points to 3,897 levels.
“Technically, Nifty future has immediate support around 3,953 levels and the corresponding support is around 4,002 on Nifty spot. A decisive breach can take it down to 3,926 levels,” said a technical analyst with Religare Securities.
In other markets, Nikkei-225 ended 18.18 points lower at 13,463levels, slipping for ninth consecutive day. The broader Topix closed flat, down a negligible 0.03 points at 1,320.07.
Back home, Reliance Communications and Reliance Infra were the biggest losers in the BSE-30 pack. They slipped around 10.5% each. Mahindra and Mahindra, Wipro, Tata Motors, HDFC, DLF Limited, ITC Limited and State Bank of India were among the other key losers.
NTPC was the only counter that managed to stay afloat. It moved up 1% by close of trading.
Among sectoral indices, the BSE realty index was the worst hit, skidding 8%. Key losers in this space included HDIL (down 12.7%), Phoenix Mills (12.4%), Ansal Infrastructure (10.7%) and Anant Raj Industries (8.7%).
Banking scrips continued to move south. Union Bank of India, Indian Overseas Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank, bank of Baroda, Axis Bank, ICICI Bank Punjab National Bank and HDFC Bank lost considerable ground.