The benchmark Sensex tumbled by over 488 points and again dipped below the 10k level in early trade on Thursday as jittery foreign funds as well as retail investors dumped stocks due to melting global stock markets and dismal quarterly results by some corporates.
The National Stock Exchange index Nifty also tumbled by 147.05 points, or 4.13 per cent to 2,918.10.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's comment on the economy on Wednesday that the short-term outlook is cloudy due to global financial turmoil also influenced market sentiment in Mumbai.
He further said steps must be taken to avoid credit crunch from turning into a crisis of confidence.
The 30-share index, which had lost 513.49 points on Wednesday, fell by a whopping 488.62 points, or nearly 4.8 per cent at 9,681.28, a level last seen in July 2006, as all the sectoral indices were trading in negative zone with losses between 2.2 to 5.85 per cent.
Marketmen said increased capital outflows by foreign funds following melting global equity markets and depreciating Indian rupee against US dollar were major factors behind the free-fall in stock prices on the domestic bourses.
"Global cues are so weak even several measures taken by the government and the RBI failed to buoy market sentiments," said Manoj Choraria, a leading Delhi-based stockbroker.
The Indian rupee today hit a record low of 49.68 against US dollar at the forex market.
Major losers which dragged the Sensex down were Bharti Airtel, L&T, RIL, ICICI Bank, Reliance Infra, BHEL, SBI, Infosys, Tata Consultancy, Satyam Computers, Tata Steel and Wipro.
Meanwhile, the US Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged 5.69 per cent last evening, while most of the Asian stock markets were down by almost 6 per cent in opening trade.